This weekend, The Boyfriend and I drove home from a good friend's wedding. It had been rainy all day, and The General was snoring in the backseat. It was Saturday after Homecoming and I was exhausted. I flipped on my seat heater and was out practically before we were even out of town. I woke up a few times as my head bobbed down too far or banged back on my seat. Each time I opened my eyes, Craig was driving ... one warm palm wrapped around my hand, and the other around the steering wheel. Each time, his eyes on the road, and the windshield wipers swooping past.
That night, as Tucky slept soundly a few rooms away, The Boyfriend and I danced in the kitchen. See, he's got a broken leg and he's not a big dancer anyway. So we skipped dancing at the reception in favor of a familiar kitchen and a familiar song ... When moving your feet didn't really matter, and twirling wasn't even the point.
And I took a deep breath.
It's been a big year and a half, and most of the time, it feels like so much longer. Sometimes, it feels like he and I are in some kind of tunnel - trapped. It feels like every single heavy conversation that we have, every single time we come upon something we've not done together, or every time we have to decide - together - what to do ... a boulder is moved and we're one step closer to the light.
The heavy conversations.
The doing things together for the first time.
The learning in the joint decision making.
That's all pretty important stuff.
When I was in the dredges of a marriage that wasn't quite right - I prayed fervently for a friend.
Lord, please just send me a friend.
And the friend didn't have to be perfect. The friend just needed to be able to see the grace in my broken parts. The friend needed to know when to be quiet, and when to love me in the loud. The friend needed to understand that sometimes I would watch him. Wait. Ready to pounce on mistakes and ready to point my finger and throw a you're all the same right on out.
My friend was going to need to be patient.
And for years.
And I do mean years, my prayer went unanswered.
Until one day, a man with a perpetual five o'clock shadow and a still-sort-of-broken-heart walked in.
I was going through my post drafts and I came across this. For the life of me, I can't remember why I didn't finish last fall. I remember that night so clearly. I tossed my phone on the counter and the soft music hung in the air in his tiny kitchen.
The Boyfriend moved to Iowa a few weeks ago (I promise I'll stop talking about it eventually) and it's kind of taken me a second to get adjusted. He came to my house this weekend in a blaze of hurry. He was out of my door less than 24 hours later.
I had some quiet time after he left. We talked about some pretty big things. Important things. And I sat in the kitchen and just ... was still for a minute. A heart check, you could say. Is it hard that he lives so far away? Yup. Is it going to get easier? Probably not. Is it worth it?
Is it worth it?
Is it worth it?
When Craig and I first started dating, I would send letters to him. Writing, obviously, is so much easier than talking for me. So I filled pages and pages. I sent notes. Cards. Emails. In one of the very first letters that I ever sent to him, I wrote the line ... "like pounding piano keys through a refrain".
Sometimes life can be like that, you know? A quiet verse that leads up to a chaotic, loud, busy refrain.
It reminds me of Corinthians.
Is it worth it?
Of course it is.
I have no idea what is in our cards, and I'm positive that if you asked him, he'd say the same.
What I do know is that I woke up in the middle of the night last night and rolled into his back. He didn't wake up, but his arm tugged me closer. My cold feet found his and I quickly fell back asleep. He cooked breakfast this morning, cutting the peppers up in tiny pieces just for me. We talked about taking a birthday trip to Arizona to see his cousin. We watched a Christmas movie.
It was only 24 hours. And it was restorative.
After our nap this afternoon, his hand dragged through my hair and I knew our time together was dwindling. He picked up his bag and told me he'd see me in a couple of days.
The air is crisp outside and the chilly wind blew through the door. Time passes. Days slide slowly by.
It occurred to me that our feet are still shuffling.
We're still trying to figure out this weird dance together.
Still trying to figure out our life.
Still trying to not burn this down like we've done in the past.
Still swaying through the refrain.
And for the life of me ... I can't even imagine a better dance partner.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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