A lyrical little item, I hope, drawn in part from my real experiences and in part from the losses of others, friends. A love song to my wife, and long may she be just that.
It always made me smile.
Thinking about my wife, I mean, and the way we ... well, the way we started off together.
We were maybe a little older than most who meet and then marry for the first time, both of us twenty-seven, differing in chronological age by only a matter of weeks. By then, statistics tell us, most of us have married at least once, and had at least one child; and right smart of that number have divorced, many of those having already entered into second marriages.
Not so with us.
I was in a long-term relationship, one which began in middle school and ran until well past college. My lady-friend dropped the bomb on me one day, the I-need-some-space-for-a-few-months prelude to never seeing someone again.
I knew I wouldn't, and I didn't. I was twenty-five, alone, and a little sour.
My wife, on the other hand, was a victim of a drive-by boyfriend in college, one who helped himself to her virginity with pledges of undying love, and then broken it off, cleanly, so as to cause the least pain.
Anyway, fate placed us together in a common small city, working with common friends; their associations with us led them to play mass-matchmaker.
We danced around one another at first, as will all new acquaintances, revealing bits and pieces as we spiraled around one another; the information grew more personal as our orbits began to synchronize.
We shared hopes and dreams and aspirations, likes and dislikes, rhythms and blues and what-all else, until finally...
Until finally, she allowed me to cook for her.
I was raised by people who love a kitchen, and she explained she could set water afire, given half a chance; her culinary specialties were mac-n-cheese and instant oatmeal. Frozen dinners, too, at a pinch.
My first attempt to place fresh bread and mixed vegetables and pork tenderloin before her caused her to swoon. That I also made a large from-scratch brownie, and forced her, twisted her arm into licking the bowl clean, did nothing to revive her.
Soon I was cooking for her every weekend; we were attending functions together with friends, spending quality time without them, and generally acting like a married couple.
All but the sex.
You see, I was determined to keep things as proper as I could. I knew the devastation of being dumped, and I knew she knew it too.
One evening, post-dinner, we were canoodling, passionately, innocently, stealing kisses and allowing the larceny to go unpunished; when she suddenly broke whatever kiss it was, and looked me in the eye.
"Do you find me attractive?" she asked, softly.
A smart-ass answer sprung to mind; I bit it back as I saw the look on her face. "You're the most beautiful woman I've ever known," I replied, quite honestly.
.... There is more of this story ...