He's stretched out on the couch in front of the television. Austin City Limits is on and I can hear Kenny Chesney singing from where I sit at the desk, paying bills.
"Oh, this is a good one," I say. "Let's dance!"
I expect the "No" but I ask anyway. I love to dance, but when I mention going out for a twirl on a Saturday night, he says "We have a dance floor right at home! We don't have to go anywhere - we can dance anytime we want to."
Yes. The Floor.
He can tell you how many nails are in this floor - he shot them all himself, with a huge, heavy nail gun. It's in the thousands, that's all I know.
On the other hand, I can't tell you (because I've tried hard to forget) how many hours I spent sorting pieces of flooring by length for him, so the ends were staggered, row by row, and how many times I went over the whole thing on my hands and knees with a wet rag, dragging the bucket of water from section to section, and those nights I spent out here alone until way past midnight dancing with the huge electric sander up and down, up and down, trying not to think about what was out there in the pitch black night framed by the windows around me. That was before the Hollow felt like home. And it's about the only dancing this floor has seen.
Then suddenly..."I'll dance to this," he says.
My pen drops and I'm up in a second. We meet in the middle of the room...yes, our own private dancehall...and sway to Kenny's crooning, holding each other close.
And let me tell you...all the nails, all the hours...all worth it.