Open Letter To My Wife

Aquarian Weekly 6/17/09 REALITY CHECK

OPEN LETTER TO MY WIFE PART II A Continued Apology Ten Years In The Making


I send this missive to press on the tenth anniversary of our marriage from a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, where you lay beside me in one of your rare restive states, mouth agape, right wrist resting awkwardly on your forehead; your breath slow, but steady. It is the finest example I have that you have survived me, something I did not predict a decade ago in this space, when we were far away in Syracuse, NY getting hitched. It was a cowardly act; putting down every horrible thing I had wreaked on my loved ones and those who were unlucky enough to cross my path in a pathetic attempt to publicly expunge all this bile without your knowledge. But no jury would convict me. I just didn’t want to queer the deal. Ultimately it was nothing more than cute and it brought me a meager pittance to submit it, but it didn’t mean a goddamned thing.

Before The FloodTurns out you knew all about it, didn’t you? After all, you lived with me, and not the Me that I rolled out at parties or professional jaunts or even family affairs, but the real Me. What the hell does that mean? Fuck if I know, but you do, and that’s all that counts. I rely on that instinct to strip away all my well-crafted facades and leave me a bloody, emotional, blithering child. It’s a good feeling to be “reduced”. Hell, yes. I recommend it to anyone with this kind of mind-numbing ego.

But you never ran from the tornados, darling. Not you. Not ever. This is why you are the finest of women, which makes you the finest of humans, because we all know a man could not begin to scale the heights you traverse daily. It is always a trip to awe to watch you move. It is something between cat and silk. I’m afraid to describe it anymore. I close my eyes and see you dance and that’s good enough, so that image will have to be good enough for the reader too. Good luck with it. It’s worked for me.

So there is the toughness of spirit and the tenderness of your feminine wiles, but it speaks nothing of what this crapped on, kicked out, undulating sack of protoplasm has gained from even knowing you, much less being “loved” by you. No one really knows what love means. I never did. I thought I had it down and tore it up and dragged it out and caressed it and sunk into it like a soft chair and was thrown from it like a speeding car careening into a blind ravine, but I was mistaken. I know that now. Love is nothing you grasp. What I have for you cannot fill poems or splatter on canvas. You can’t hum it like a melody or turn it into a foreign film. It seeks no philosophy or religion. It is the unspeakable, the unknowable and I sure as hell wouldn’t reveal it under oath or threat of torture.

I carry your love not as a badge but a scar. It ain’t coming off. Not now. Not ever.

We put it on the line, you and me.

And that is the nut here, huh? We put it on the line, you and me. Through it all we hold the wheel and forge ahead boats against the current. From that day ten long years ago when we stood before our beloved rabble; beautiful people who make us whole, these friends and brothers and sisters and comrades and all the DNA that reminds us that we’ve put together a pretty good crew on the thinnest of rafts. Shit, we filled the loft of that ancient theater and opened our threadbare veins and let it flow, shaved our heads and sprint into the fucking desert. And ever since we have been lost at sea with no hope, strike that, no plans on returning. Let the rest of the walkabouts walk about, we’ll be on the bouncing waves in our serpentine embrace. No one gets in, no one leaves hungry.

Just in case you weren’t so sure, I put it all down on paper; scribbled out something hastily and handed it to you in front of the woman who married us, some local judge who butchered my middle name and could hardly believe we turned the whole thing into a bohemian ritual. I don’t recall the exact words, but it said something about never letting you down or always being right there for you and I am sure I have broken that promise. Promises tend to have weak handles. It’s something I once read on the bathroom wall at the White Horse Tavern. It is something I learned the hard way more than once. But one thing is certain; you have never let me down and have always been there for me.

For that and all the things that make up this complicated, mysterious, foreshadowing, caustic, sexy, drunken, hard-charging, pistol hip-shaken, kick ass woman, I am eternally in your debt. I’d thank you if it weren’t maudlin and beneath the truth and could hardly carry the weight of this infinite smile you put on my weathered face.

Ten years of marriage plus nineteen odd months of this impenetrable bond; we’ve lived in three places and shared five cats and miles of road and air and valleys of grief and mountains of joy and volumes of music and rivers of booze and the kind of laughter that you can’t trade even on the black market.

And you still had the grit to give me one more thing; this person, this girl, this piece of us that is without question its own uncompromising, noisy, two-fisted shining spirit of you, a porcelain goddess with a wicked grin and those special moves from heaven. Yeah, she grooves, mama, and it shows no signs of stopping. Hope she keeps putting us in our place, this place, the place where we got it going on; and apparently on and on.

Hah! It’s good to know nature has a sense of humor and it works overtime around here.

I truly hope I’ve held my end of this bizarre bargain. Lord knows it pales in comparison to what I have once again failed to impart in these scanty words I pound out this morning.

Here’s to ten more from the desert to the sea and all the rest of those dark areas inside my beating muscle.

You’ve been there. You stay here.

You know.


Reality Check | Pop Culture | Politics | Sports | Music


Social tagging:

Leave a Reply