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Tuesday Musing: My Rock Star
A meditation on the nonlinearity of love and time
You are my rock and my rock star.
That's what I wrote in the card I placed on the red checkered tablecloth at Joe's pizza, so it would be waiting for them when they found me at the little table in the back room near the bustling kitchen. It was their last day of classes after a wonderful but exhausting semester, their second-to-last of attaining an undergraduate degree in their mid 40s. They ordered a ginger ale and I got a Pellegrino. I scanned the walls, reading dozens of college banners from all over the country. I flashed on the campus tours I’d just completed with my son and the youngest of the five kids between us. He is 17.
When they were 17, they had their first daughter. She is 28 now; she lives in our old apartment with her girlfriend just over a mile from our place. On Saturday, I drove over and we walked to town together, strolling through the farmer's market, oohing and aahing over herb starts and hanging plants and homemade jams and gorgeous loaves of whole wheat bread. We sat at a picnic bench, drowsy in the sun, eating popsicles. She recalled graduating from high school exactly 10 years ago, and the fact that I had been there.
Whoever created this linear idea of time clearly wanted to impose some order where instead there was – is – not chaos exactly, but something more elegant in its mystery, something compounded and simultaneous, all ocean and rock and sediment and erosion and layers and roots and bark and the soft undersides of petals sporting colors and patterns only a true artist could conjure.
At night when one of us wakes up to pee – usually them – I turn to face their back and wrap my left arm around their middle, their skin a comfort, broad, protective. I like it when they tell me I talked in my sleep and said loving things; somehow knowing this feels like the truth at the center of the truth, or maybe it's more like the sky I can see through the thickening trees as we move towards summer – as if it were something I could walk towards when in fact, I would never arrive, only keep walking.
My rock star, I like to say, because I like being married to a brilliant writer, the thought of this makes my lip curl into a smile, and I like that we live and write and work in our timing, our own layers, our own oceans and forests of feeling into what we know is right, what we know is next, what we know is true.
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