Despite the swamp of dread gurgling at present near the bottom of my gut, it’s here that something vaguely instinctual rises to life inside me — a sunken golem of duty and diligence, reanimated and kicking up through the murkiness and sludge to reacquaint itself with oxygen and light. See, I love Alex very much. I love many things about her — the way she scrunches her face like a kitten when reading in bed; her intolerance for bullshit; her self-consciousness about cussing — but more than any of those things I love her spirit, the electric sense of self-confidence that powers her well-postured gate and luminous smile and that does, in fact, feel like the product of an internal Lithium-ion. She is an energy source all her own. And so the sight of her suddenly so despondent, so depleted, sort of shocks me, and reminds me that her spirit is delicate, not immune to dampness or debility. And it strikes me that as her soon-to-be life partner, one of my responsibilities is to help keep this energy alive — no matter how swamped with anxiety about a day in airport prison I may be.