Today is the last day my husband will be working out of town, at least for now. For the last few months we have lived separate lives. He wakes before dark, works 10 hour days on the steel, has beer with the guys and plays dominoes all night in their shared motel room. He eats top ramen and Jack in the Box, a maid makes his bed every morning, and twice a week he makes the 4 hour drive home to see his family. I have no idea where he is at most times, he showed me pictures from a Michael Jackson dance contest he attended the previous week, I didn't know he had gone. I married my husband to share a life with him, and when people ask me where he is I want to say he went to the store, not he is somewhere in Santa Barbara that I would need my GPS to find. When he visits I feel the limitations of his time, he yearns for sleep and I hold myself back, greedy for his attention. I settle for sleeping in his strong arms, his hands a deep dark brown from the sun, his cuticles gnarled and dry, his fingers swollen and at least one broken. He's too heavy and eventually he turns over, leaving me to stare at the outline of his shoulders and drift off pressed against the small of his back. I feel him kiss me good bye at 3am every Monday in the midst of my deepest dreams, and when I finally break through my sleep my heart drops at the darkness of our empty bedroom. The days he's gone are oddly normal, I've grown accustomed to his absence, which may be worse than missing him. When he comes home I jump on him, my legs wrapping tight around his waist and I inhale his scent as his unshaved face scratches my cheeks. He kisses me fiercely every time, but already I feel the clock tick. When he comes home tonight the clock will stop, but I will try my hardest to hold onto that feeling and not take his presence for granted. Our lives will intertwine again as naturally as they have the past 5 years, and maybe the next time I am irritated with him for leaving his clothes allover the floor I will stop for a minute and remember our empty bed, and just be glad his clothes are on our floor and not a motels. Maybe... maybe not...Paul & his bed buddy Jeff, no more Monkey Bites, he's mine!
Happy 5 Year Anniversary Bebu!!!