Valentine to a fairweather husband
You’re gone again; you do this every year. The minute the weather turns bad, poof — you’re gone.
Some days it’s easy and other times it’s harder. You call from time to time, but you’re off and gone and while you tell me you think of me all the time, it’s no substitute for being held.
I told you that the last time you called. How do you find someone on a dating site who can handle a relationship that includes lots of hugging, watching movies all snuggled up, but no sex because I am, after all, the faithful type and that would be cheating. That also means no real kissing either.
I miss kissing.
It’s a problem. I’m 58 years old, my body and life are transforming and I’m feeling like a piece of furniture in a storage unit – only I’m not furniture and I don’t just sit patiently and inanimate, waiting to be sat on again.
Oh, that’s not a good image, is it?
So how do I write a Valentine to the love of my life who is gone half the time? I totally get that it’s your life dream to travel the world. You told me this on our first – or was it our second – date, so it’s not like I wasn’t warned. In fact, you expected to sell the house, ditch everybody you ever loved over here and launch into the world like a rocket ship that never intends to set down more than a little while ever again.
You didn’t count on loving me this much, did you? But you do. You light up when I come into the room. You look up suddenly and say “Oh my god, you are so beautiful. How did I ever get so lucky as to have you in my life? I love you, Maya.” It fills my heart to wordlessness. My usual outpouring of sound stills, my mouth closes on words unspoken and all I can do is let my eyes meet yours until you fill my vision completely.
But still, you leave. You go in late fall, after the rains have begun and all that would be left for you anyway is to sit watching television all day, waiting for me to get home from work, to get off the computer as I write or edit or chat with the world at large or play savage games of World of Warcraft. Because I am not a couch and because my mind is as busy as a chipmunk on speed.
I don’t just sit and watch television too well.
We have almost nothing in common except we are just alike. It wasn’t a month went by after meeting you that I was struck – more like punched, actually – by the realization that you are just like me. I’d never thought a man existed who would make such sense to me and who would get me as well as you do.
We’re freaking brilliant. We live in our heads more than just a little. We can be incredibly wise and about as socially awkward as someone who grew up in a shipping container. I understand when you cry at kid movies. You know that even I am not strong, I am never, ever weak. Who else would get that?
We’re incredibly cuddly, sometimes just standing there wrapped up in each other’s arms for a good half hour or more, perfectly content. You say “In your place, woman. Get in your place,” knowing perfectly well just how much of a feminist I am, but my place is right next to your heart. You laugh because you know how that sounds, and also because, despite your being an entire foot taller than me, I could use my red belt martial arts skills to totally take you down. (You say “I could take you,” and I snort and roll my eyes.)
And you’re not here. I feel your phantom hugs and kisses, but they slip away from me like dreams of a vanished life. I tell myself you’ll be back, but I can’t hug the hope of you. Your voice in my ear on the phone does not equate to the rumbling of it against my back.
Oh, and passion. I miss passion. Twenty-nine years in June, and still, passion.
I’m so proud of you for following your dreams. How many people in this world actually do it? I just wish to hell you’d come home.
Happy Valentine’s day.
*My Beloved Husband
**Your Adoring Wife