How could we have ever known, on our first date night, that we would fit together as perfectly as if we were the last two pieces of a master carpenter’s crowning achievement. That we would come through all we have come through to arrive at this: an anniversary year marked by a number that serves as a kind of gris-gris for so many high-rollers.
A hotel in Seattle. You, the weekend bartender who attended massage school during the week. Me, the cook, heating chowder for one of your customers. I remember your eyes, that smile, that energy, that way you have about you. I asked if there was a Mr. Lemon. And beneath our seemingly smooth surfaces, layers upon layers began to stir and turn over in their sleep, awaiting us, if only we would make certain choices.
We made our choices, and I walked my stiff-hipped line-cook walk as you stepped off the bus in your bright scarf and bohemian clothes. We had Mexican at Mama’s in Belltown. Don’t know what I had, or if it was any good – my sights were set on you. We bought beer and went back to my studio apartment one block from the Space Needle, where I had no bed, only a couch. We talked and talked until most of the night had slipped by. Hours felt like minutes. We slept awhile, smashed against each other on the sofa. What a comic and seemingly innocuous beginning to the deep, deep journey we would take together!
There was a time, not so long ago, when you were so sick we didn’t know if you were going to make it. All I know is, all the time you thought you were so easily broken, I watched an incredible woman survive, persist, endure. I observed the layers of an unlikely foundation coalesce beneath you, beneath us – the solid ground that only comes with groundlessness, the hanging on that is only made possible through letting go, the firm footing only found on the other side of being lost.
Lord knows the world is full of ghosts, west to east, coast to coast, Alaskan Way to Bleecker Street. I’m grateful to have you at my side, so alive and awake. The notion of life without you is an agonizing one. My heart turns over the rich soil of us, again and again, in slow revolutions.