Dear The Daver,
Sometime this spring, in March or April, I don’t remember and I’m WAY too lazy to go back into my archives and check (I know you’d appreciate this because your roving sock colony has made it everywhere in the house EXCEPT down the laundry chute. In Casa de la Sausage, Laziness Abounds)(Also Abounding: Bad Attitudes and Penises)(Penii?), when either I was waiting on the pathology report from my cervix or the pathology report from my mother’s biopsy, I turned to you and said wearily,
“Is this what life is? Is it one non-stop shit-storm after another?” I may or may not have cried then, depending upon how wrung out I was feeling.
I was genuinely asking you, not whining (as I usually am) and hoping that my irritating voice would lead you to break down and buy me a new Coach purse. Thankfully, you saw that I was serious, looked me in the eye and said simply, “I don’t know.”
Then we laughed, one of those mirthless laughs that don’t come with any real humor because there comes a point when all you really can do is laugh. Or have a nervous breakdown. But laughter is a hell of a lot more efficient than having to go through the whole locked ward, Nurse Ratched thing.
Not to be all maudlin today–although “maudlin,” like “cacophony,” is a word I must use more–because I don’t mean it that way, but more like, well, holy shit, we fucking made it. I think this, if nothing else, warrants a Wayne’s World-esque headbanging session to “Don’t Stop Believing” or “Sky Rockets At Night (Afternoon Delight).” And then maybe a celebratory drink or 31.
Because we did, it, Baby, another whole year around the sun, you and me and the kids and the dogs and the cats and the bunny and it’s done. And while there were times when I thought that I couldn’t breathe with the blackness and pressure and fear of it all, the one thing in this whole crazy mixed up year, the one thing that I can say is this: in all the darkness, I could always see you.
The world could fall around us and you and I would stand there, amidst the rubble, gripping hands like life-vests, grimly picking up the pieces and occasionally laughing at something. In our darkest hours, we have each other.
I remember sitting in the cafeteria of the hospital the day after Amelia’s brain surgery, just the two of us, as she slept in her PICU bed. Exhausted but happy, we sat quietly and ate our breakfast.
At some point, I noticed that they were playing “Smoove Jazz” on the radio, you know, the crazy cornball crap, and I turned to you, started dancing like the guys from SNL, and said, “You know, this is the sort of song that gets a girl in the moooooood.” What sort of mood, I did not specify, but I don’t think it matters.
We both cracked up. We laughed and laughed and laughed. We laughed until we cried, both of us spurting tears out and they rolled down our face onto our shirts. We laughed until people around us openly started, wondering if we’d somehow escaped The Locked Ward, and we didn’t care.
Finally, we caught our breath and you looked at me and said, “God, it felt good to laugh. To REALLY laugh again.” And we did and it did and we do and we will.
Happy Birthday, love of my life. I’d hope for a less wild year, but I think if it were, we’d be living someone else’s life.
Sitting there in your pajamas & all the time in the world & if I could keep any moment it would be this: watching you & holding my breath with the wonder of it all. (The Story People)
Happy Birthday, Dave. Without you, none of us would be here.
Deadline for entry into my contest to give away all my BlogHer swag is September 8th, tonight, by midnight, CST. If it’s in my inbox by that time, we’re all good. I’ll get all of the entries up at some point today and voting will begin tomorrow!
My second column is up here today, so if you’re so inclined, check it out.
Also, if you would like, I have been nominated for a couple of awards, two on my sidebar at the top and one here. They do both annoyingly require registration, but if you’d be inclined to cut a bitch vote for me, I’d be tickled pink.