This is a love story

Six kids, three cats, one house.  I lay awake at night and think,  this is a story worth telling.  

But then again, don’t I think every story is one worth telling?

But where do I begin my own? Ah. With what came before.

Lay it bare.

There are spouses we laid by once and houses that we lived in once. There are doors with locks, and keys on key rings still that no longer have a home. Vows we made and broke. And rings of circular foreverness in top dresser drawers, with worn rims. Placeless, faceless, never to be worn again.

There are textbooks in closets, with an old husband’s name scrawled inside.

There is a sofa, where my new husband held a baby long ago, that he did not have with me, in the earliest morning hours of her being.

There is anger and passion and resent and love.

We don’t forget those things, we bring them along.

Sometimes it is very crowded here.

This is a love story.

He knows things. But I see things.

Is it darker than usual in this room? I ask as I fumble my way into our bed.

There’s no moon tonight, his voice is groggy. He knows things, this man.

Sometimes when we finally crawl upstairs, ragged from the day and mourning the loss of evening, I find a blond haired girl in our bed. That baby that he held long ago. A big girl, a girl whose mornings I get to share now.

Sometimes, he carries her to her bed down the hall, her blond ringlets floating behind him.

Sometimes we let her stay, folding our bodies around her sleeping one.

This is a love story.

We are broken people. We are building again. Why does this make the world so angry?

We lost friends.  We make new friends.

We meet other couples in restaurants and bars. We go everywhere and we talk to everyone.  Six kids, we tell them patiently.  His and Hers, we say sometimes, if we are feeling generous. Like the Brady Bunch! They clap their hands, so pleased with themselves. We smile politely as though we have not heard this 854 times before. Sort of. 

He drives my teenage daughter to school in the morning. She’s all black-haired angst, slouching and he’s all bald-headed patient, trying. He wanders onto her turf, engaging in meaningful discussions about My Chemical Romance and college.

His little boy tells me, “I love you fourth, after my mom and my dad and my grandma” and this makes me happier than I ever thought it could.  I am grateful for little boys in glasses who let you know exactly where you stand.

I make brussel sprouts for this second husband.  He hates brussel sprouts. But he eats them.

We fight about Bruce Jenner over dinner and drink Red Zinfandel.

We take dancing lessons and both try to lead. We learn nothing, nothing at all except the Fox Trot.

We fox the fuck out of that trot.

We listen to Kathy’s Song and he tells me that Art Garfunkel makes him inexplicably angry.

This makes me inexplicably angry.

But, this is a love story.

In the evenings,  if I take too long, he falls asleep holding a half drunk glass of wine, head nodding, long stem tipping. Wake up darling, you’ll spill.  

Sometimes I just gently slip the glass from his hand.

His soft breathing, the clack of airy thoughts forming solid thoughts before my eyes. And in my chair, my brother’s old chair that he left to me after he died, I am typing.

The only light in the room is the glow of my computer screen. The cursor beating pressingly, much slower than my heart.

I ripped the world open and try to stitch it back together again with words.

It takes a long time to do that, you know.

Six kids, three cats, one house.

The two of us, impossibly imperfect. He is soft nearby, chest heavy, wine glass wavering.

I should be sleeping. But I have so much to say.

The cursor summons and I type:

 

 This is a love story. 

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Blinking, blinking.  Telling, telling.

Fox Trot in the no moon-light.

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This is a love story.  (I’m writing it as we go)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Comments

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Your story, my story. So many others story that all of us don’t have the savvy to put into words. Your words-my thoughts. Yeah, that works for me. Everything you write about, makes me stop for a minute and think about my life, past, present and future. I love this. You know the old saying “Food for Thought”. Your writing is phenomenal…You are phenomenal. You shoot straight from the heart and straight to my heart <3

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  2. This is amazing. Just what I needed to read today, turning the corner and approaching two years divorced and one year in love with my new fellow. We ramble through our new relationship with all these questions and doubts, but ultimately ours is a love story, too. Bravo! You have inherited a new fan of your work. Thanks.

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    • All the love stories that turn out different from the way they were “supposed to be” are my favorite ones. Hurrah for us, Lee! Hurrah for second chances and happy endings! <3

      Reply
  3. This is great!! You’re story is our story! Except we only have 5 kids…I always love the debate on whether to tell people the exact breakdown of who’s is who’s kid wise lol (4 are mine, 1 is his) He falls asleep with his glass in his hand a lot and I debate trying to slip it from him or gently waking him. Great job! Brilliant writing

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  4. Hi Nicole, I left my husband & first love of 18 years a little over two years ago. Since then I’ve fallen in love again and have a happy life now for the first time in a long time. Thank you for your blog. You say all the things I feel but haven’t been able to put in words yet

    Reply
    • Dana, that is so wonderful. I know how you feel—I guess you can tell. LOL. You deserve to be happy. I think it took me a long time to get past guilt or obligation to understand that. I’m so glad you have that too. Thank you SO MUCH for reading and for these words. They made my morning. <3

      Reply

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