Bon Iver is experimenting in the kitchen. ‘I want to make you a meal that symbolizes our love!’ he shouts over the banging of the oven door and something that sounds like oil exploding. Eventually, I go out on the porch where I can’t hear it. The sun is warm and ants are doing something interesting, and eventually I fall asleep in the chair.
When he wakes me, he’s laid a blanket on the worn, bleached boards and the sun is sliding behind the Western hills. A cathedral’s worth of candles make a centerpiece.
He feeds me lamb and mushrooms, good dark bread with mustard, the first of the fennel sausage that’s been curing all winter, and vanilla ice cream poured with brandy. The cream drips on my chin and he leans forward to kiss it.
‘So explain,’ I say, with a smile, ‘how this dinner represents our love.’
He says, simply, ‘It’s everything I wanted today,’ and he wraps me in his sweater, seeing that my arms are raised with bumps; it’s become quite cool. The orange light from the candles and the vanishing sun fall upon his kind face.
If another man had said that to me, I might have laughed. But when Bon Iver speaks, he says exactly what he feels, and it pierces my heart like an arrow.