Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Putting the Day to Bed

Jen was done tonight. Anxiety woke her up around 2:30 in the morning last night and she wasn't able to fall back asleep. Instead, she got up to do laundry and some general house cleaning. This evening, I painted while she nodded out during the first hour of The Biggest Loser. I used some bold blue in the midst of a red field. She snored softly, still trying to shake off the last of our shared cold.

I put the dogs out while she came upstairs to brush her teeth. She was in bed by the time I got up to say goodnight to her. She was already on her way out, drifting.

Her face is changing. It's different than it was 40 pounds ago, and for a moment she was a stranger bundled under a familiar comforter. In my mind, I saw what she may look like thirty years from now buried under the skin of a cranky sleep deprived brow. I liked what I saw. I kissed her forehead, smoothing out some of the furrowed skin there that seems more familiar on the faces of my young nephews than it does on my wife, and she was gone.

I had one of those "This is not my beautiful house / This is not my beautiful wife!" moments. Suddenly everything current in my life felt like completely new to me, and I stood there beside the bed looking down on her wondering how I ever got to this point.

It seems like a year ago we were all sitting in the grass outside of that North Dallas apartment complex singing into the night. It was a month ago I came crawling back north confused and looking for a place to live. A week ago I lived in that old house downtown drinking too much and living in fear of parking on the street.

The moment was gone before it fully arrived. I felt it pass the moment it touched me and was left feeling simply grateful.

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