Stay

"We should go to bed, get some rest," I said. The hookah on the coffee table had burned out an hour ago, but still we sat on the floor, two exhausted bodies collapsed against each other. Your hand barely touched my hair as we sat by the huge picture window, idly consuming the night.

The house hung high on a hill; outside, the moon looked down, seemingly as drowsy as us, and those westernmost streets of San Francisco marched down in neat rows to cordially greet the ocean. 

"Do we really have to get up?" you asked, "What happens if we don't ever move from this spot?"

I thought about this for a minute, listening to the whisper of the silence that was never really silence in the city.

"Well, let's see. We'd just stay right here. So first, we would watch the moon move all night. And then, slowly, the sky would get lighter, and sometime after the sun rose your roommates would do the same, and they'd ask what we were doing on the floor at that time in the morning. And we'd just sit here. And then the shadow of the city would start to get shorter, and then we would be able to see the sun moving, and we would watch that. 

"And your roommates would leave for work, and come back from work, and they'd go to bed, and wake up the next morning, and still we would be here. 

"Days would pass, and then weeks, and then months and years. The roommates would get used to us sitting here, and eventually they'd get married or change jobs or decide they can't handle living in San Francisco anymore, and they'd move out. And the new tenants would move in, and decorate us with the little memories that make up their lives, and we'd just sit here. 

"It wouldn't be too long before decades and centuries were flying by, and eventually this house and maybe this whole city would slide back into the sea from whence it came. And the earth would become hot and inhospitable and maybe humans will have escaped it to go colonize some other planet or some artificial satellite, and then the sun will slowly swell up and engulf the earth, and then shrink back down to a tiny dense mass, pulsing with white hot radiation. By that time the universe's expansion will have slowed to a crawl and then eventually reversed, and all the stars and galaxies will begin to accelerate towards each other, lazily at first but then with greater urgency, rushing in towards each other and finally all condensing into a single dimensionless point. And the universe would sit like that for a long time, maybe, or maybe it would only feel like a second, because the concept of time becomes somewhat meaningless when the entire universe has condensed to a single dimensionless point. 

"And then, suddenly and for no reason that we could discern, that dimensionless point would explode outward in a glorious hail of light and heat. And for the first 10 billion years or so after that, we’d sit and watch and think that everything was different. But then, another planet just like this one would appear. And for the next 4 billion years we’d watch that planet form and harden and cool and vegetate and animate, and then after a long time, people just like our ancestors would build a city by a bay. 

"And in that city, two people just like us would go out one day in the sun, and dance and play just like we did today. And then those two people would come back to a house that hangs high on a hill overlooking the ocean, just like this one does, and they would sit down on the floor right where we are sitting right now. And they would be so tired, that they’d never want to get up. And even though they couldn’t see us, we’d whisper softly to them in the silence of the city, and touch their hair very gently, and slowly they would begin to wonder, ‘what if we never got up and went to bed?’ 

"And we would convince them to stay, to join us in the blissful peace of never moving from this place. And they’d sit with us, and we’d watch together as the world ended and began again, over and over, on and on, and each time we would rejoin ourselves in the cashmere embrace of this very spot. And eventually we’d forget that we were ever doing anything besides sitting here together, you and I."