Saturday, February 19, 2005

Day in Boston: Driving In

It's just after lunch. I am driving down 95. Just as the song comes on, the phone rings. I usually don't answer it while driving, but it could be my husband, a medical emergency. It's not. I answer the phone, out of surprise. I can't believe he called just as this song stars.

Years ago, we rode the T together. The whole car was silent. It was a Sunday, in March. At one point, he made a grimace. "I need you." he said. So I leaned in and rested my head on his chest. He began to sing Ghost, quietly. I closed my eyes. His smell, his heartbeat were both familiar, comforting. I was not aware, but he was, that all eyes and ears in that car were on us.

Park Street. As we got off, he chuckled. "There are a lot of people in that car who thought we were a very sweet couple." he said. I laughed. We weren't a couple. We never were.

Six months later, I married someone else.

I wouldn't do anything differently. I would choose my husband a million times. Our love has had uncommon struggles, heart wrenching separations, a few screaming matches, and more devotion forged in fire than would be possible with the boy who seranaded me.

He and I are so much alike. We always know everything, and have learned nothing from each other. Were we to be together, we would still be the people we were at sixteen and eighteen. He realized a year after my marriage that he had to go on a quest of some sort. Literally and figuratively. He traveled the world, looking to find something to grow him. He grew.

His quest has brought him to places I never thought he would go, to see realities that I never thought he would. He wouldn't have done that with me. I either would have allowed him his delusions, or spit the truth on him so brutally that it would have hurt him, and we would no longer be friends. Which we are now. I realize how lucky I am.

Just after Christmas, after nearly a year of not seeing each other, we met in the rain, in Boston. We felt a minuscule sadness that quickly gave way to a great relief. Once we made each other's heads spin, and now...we were just friends. There was nothing romantic about it, but it was very, very good.

As the song comes on the radio, the phone rings, and it's him. It's a call of little importance. Yes, I am still coming. Yes, I can swing by his work before the show. Sure, coffee or ice cream (ice cream? has he been outside?) would be good. I'm trying not to get hit with an SUV, I have to go.

I hang up. I hit the back button on the cd player. I hear it again, and remember that Sunday in March.


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