I am watching you sleep. After all these years it is still my favorite part of you. The way you are so peaceful and dreaming. In a while, you will wake and tell me about some fantastic landscape you just visited or a great story you have to write, right away. I can still see your young face in those moments. I think how we were so young when we got together though I did not think it at the time. But now, after thirty-five years we are really old – older than I could have ever imagined myself to become.
Here you are asleep in my favorite chair, grey hair almost to overtake your true color. I remember the day you said you were committed to taking a nap everyday. Even that seems like so long ago. It was right after that weekend in Vegas when we married on a lark. They had passed the law in thirteen. We both agreed it was great. Just not for us. What we had was enough. But then in fifteen you said it was time you made an honest woman of me. You got down on your knee took my hand and said, traditions be damned. I married you in a little wedding chapel with Elvis playing in the background. You paid the extra hundred dollars to be married by the only chapel who still married people in the old fashioned way.
That was a romantic year for us. It marks our life in the difference in years. Some romantic, some not so romantic and some I would be happy to forget. I suspect you feel the same way but we do not talk about it in these terms. What references that do occur come in the simple form of an anecdote. Like ‘that year you went to guest lecture in England’, ‘the year of the affairs’ or ‘the year we got married’. At least we learned some where that with the good there is some bad.
You made me that chair as an third or fourth anniversary present. I forget which. I like to sit in it just for the woody smell. I think you expected me to put it on the porch at the house we rented on that street named for a tree. But I wanted it closer to me and put it by the bed. Even here, at the only house we have ever owned, I still have it in our bedroom. Sometimes I do carry it out to the back deck so I can sit and enjoy the sounds of the river. You laugh at me every time you catch me pushing back across the floor.
You will be awake soon so I am going to start dinner for us. It is my turn anyway. You will come in the kitchen padding in your sock feet and wrap your arms around my back. You will take a deep breath with your nose buried in my hair. I will smile but you will not see it and then I will listen as you recount your dream or lack there of while I busy myself with the task of dinner. Over dinner we will talk or not talk depending on our mood. But when we go to bed, we will talk about something one of us is trying to process as I take you up in my arms and we fall asleep. This is our routine after thirty-five years. This is our love.