Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I feel like I can't write anymore. All I can do is watch the trees sway in the wind outside the window next to my computer screen. This new house must sit on the windiest patch of grass in Asheville. The trees are always in a state of sway. The air is always filled with swirl of tiny petals of locust and wild cherry blooms; it looks like there's always a wedding going on outside, the old weddings when people would throw bags of rice at the couple, way before they realized that birds bellies would pop from the rice kernels. Is that true? Or an old wives tale? All I can do is think about how 10 years ago Pat and I were sitting in my parents' den watching the Weather Channel. Would it rain? Would it not? Kathryn and a woman I don't talk to anymore for some reason or another -- time, distance, nothing important, but just space -- would be arranging the flowers we cut out of neighbors' yard into all the vases we could find in the house. My grandmother would be sitting at the round cherry kitchen table her husband, my grandfather, made, peeling the shells off of boiled eggs to make platters of deviled eggs. My mother would be smoking cigarettes and laughing. My dad would be sitting in his recliner with his feet propped up, happy that there were all these people around.

We don't have many pictures of that day, but there is one all of us in the den, our eyes glued to the TV. I remember thinking I couldn't believe all this was happening. Not the rain, that I didn't mind, really. What I couldn't believe is that I would be in a wedding. My wedding. It felt so foreign to me, like I had stumbled onto a game show and was trying to play along until I figured out the rules. I didn't know what to do or what to say. I didn't know what to feel. I didn't know anything. No one told me what to expect and I guess I was to full of pride to ask. I remember feeling so scared that I was making a huge mistake.

This morning, I woke up early. There is one bird that starts singing outside our windows at about 5 o'clock nearly every morning -- a small tweet, a sweet hum out in the darkness. It wakes me up nearly every day. Today, though, I was still, quietly listening to it when I realized Pat was awake, too. I don't know what it is that lets you know someone is awake. The way they move to shift the covers, the sound of their eyes opening? There is a stillness that lights up, though, and you know.

I didn't move for a while. I just listened to him and wondered what he was thinking. I could hear his breath pass over the sheets, a cool zip, a small sigh.

I love him, I thought. I love him more than anything.


Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary, sweet girl! This made me weep with happy.


Kathryn Frances Walker said...

awesome as hell. and my eyeballs fell on something after this (that i haven't read yet) where you say something about it being sappy. no way no how. this is awesome. i remember y'all's wedding day very clearly. i always tell you this but when your dad stuck that blower-backpack on me, he was grinning. happy late anniversary. i've been on planet zero for the month of may, i apologize.