The first time I rode shotgun in his truck he was sipping an Icee. Blue raspberry. He wore beaded necklaces back then. He had a kayak. A punching bag, too. A whiteboard in his room with a list of impossible dreams he’d die chasing.
I wrote him a letter early on. I remember closing my eyes and trying to capture what it was about him–so that I could put it on paper and let him know what I knew. Joie de vivre is what I came up with.
He was just a year younger than me but set so far apart in worlds. I was the mother of three, worn from life lived tired. I’d forgotten so many things–breaths of crisp mountain air and petals in full bloom and how water beads on a spider’s web. He was free as the whispering wind. Knowing him was turning my face to the sun and watching through closed eyes as a kaleidoscope of colors bled through. His words were honey and his skin was electric and his mind a thousand unopened doors.
Now the mother of four I’m not worn or tired and he’s not free or wild. We came together and gave and took and fell in synch. This year will make ten.
This morning I wrapped my arms in so familiar a wrap and I looked up and there on his neck was a patch of gray. Seeing it gave me butterflies but not the nervous ones. It gave me joy rooted deep.
I used to know for sure that one day we’d grow apart because isn’t that what married people do? I used to know for sure that our rebel love would shadow over. I used to know for sure that one day I’d look up and the colors would all have paled and faded.
Now I know that I didn’t know anything at all.
Now I know that the best part of life with him is chasing those impossible dreams.
sometimes they come true. Now I know.