Friday, March 25, 2011

and they almost lived happily after

Jean is a work friend and shortly after I started this job her husband became severely ill.  I did not see her much during those weeks and Tom died in a hospital bed in their townhouse late at night and nobody was answering at the hospice number. Jean is virginal in every cell of her body and I saw their wedding portrait at the wake and  honest-to-god she looked like a starry-eyed princess, her body leaning into her new husband.  She believed all the fairy tales and they did not disappoint her. They lived on the outskirts of town, a wealthy country home, and Tom always hosted a hell of a party every fourth of July.  He would mount a  keg on a trailer attached to his miniature tractor and visit the neighbors offering glasses of beer to get the party started.  The last year of his life he was 62 years old and they traveled to Jamaica and the pace of the resort life bored Tom so he rented a motorcycle and he and Jean saw the island in a purely native way.
Five years passed and Jean has a boyfriend, a wood worker, and  he dropped her off at the townhouse without escorting her to the door, and Jean set him straight on that issue, hooray for little timid Jean. She told him she will not marry him, who could follow Tom, and she says he understands, but I am sure he is plotting for more. Jean is perfect wife material, soft and malleable, full of quiet vulnerability.

I was fifteen years old and setting our dining room table on the night of my parents' twentieth anniversary and I said, I don't understand how people can stay married that long.  My mother was upset with me and later I read an article in her Reader's Digest that said, being married a long time is like walking on the beach, you can walk there every day and still find something new.  Seashells are seashells, I say.

There are many reasons to marry and love should not be the essential one.  It is a fickle emotion and  redesigns itself during the course of two lifetimes.  The man I was seeing before Big Dave stayed with me eight years before I recognized the decay that crept in. There was this other woman, younger, no children and that explained why he disappeared for weekends at a time.  The cowboy is true blue, a regular boy scout and I know he will not stray. I'm not good at being married, I admit that, I am better alone. I have always treasured my private moments, watching the moon travel across my sky light and knowing my thoughts will not be interrupted.


Lori said...

Excellent writing. I enjoy your blog.

MrDaveyGie said...

What Lori said....zactly.