Monday, October 24, 2005

An Imperfect Number

I sat in my car this morning trying to warm up after several attempts of fighting fierce winds and icy rain at 6AM pushing sandbags out of the way to get into the back door that would not open. I tried my key over and over again and the door would not open. For ten minutes this went on. My shoes and shirt were soaked through. And finally the door gave way to the deserted warehouse of the early morning. Half of the employees didn't show up until after lunchtime because of the storm. And I discovered that I could have used my key in the new front door after all.

Tonight is the first cold night we've had this season. I need a blanket.

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Seven years ago this month, I started working working at this place of employment. Not gainfully, and there certainly aren't ladders to be climbed, but I'm still employed nonetheless. Seven years ago, I moved into this house I call home. In the distance from here to there during those seven years, I just hit over 100,000 miles on my car. Seven is such an odd number to leave things at. Some cultures hold it as a perfect number, although to me it seems rather an imperfect.

Seven years ago today, I remember sitting on a balcony overlooking the beach at dusk feeling a coolness of the same sort. The hotel was a surprise for her. We really had no money for a honeymoon but I pulled some strings. There was another wedding happening on the beach outside our room. When I came to find her she was standing by the door she was ready to go in. I believe I fumbled with the lock to that door as well. We both caught colds after crashing from the stress of finally getting married that night. But we were happy to be together.

Later in the evening, not being wise in the ways of expensive hotels that had such amenities we had forgotten to put up the Do Not Disturb sign on the door. When we heard the door suddenly open and a voice in a droll and unflinching tone, that had obviously seen all this before, asked if we'd like turn down service. I was guessing that's for the bed. And so we sat there naked in the bed, giving her an awkward "No thanks," and couldn't help but burst in laughter after the visitor had made her equally abrupt exit.

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Seven years later, tonight, we sit and hold hands for a while. I know she is thinking about it. The monkeys are asleep. The Elder Monkey coughs, a reminder of his current illness. The TV is showing sitcoms and dramas but it all just turns into noise after a while. That familiar question arises, what are you thinking, what am I thinking? We remember the date. We conclude there is no anger, only tired minds. It's late and time for me to go home.

To she, I hope to be her confidante and a comfortable fellow human being until we are ripe and mewling in old age. To she, who is mama to my monkeys, I will do my best to not let them too close to the sun. To she, who I burdened with my name, I will always ask for forgiveness.

As I sit here trying desperately to see through a salty blur in my eyes, with a slight fever and only a few thoughts that are worth anything...I hear the cough. I speak nothing. I'm hungry. I eat chocolate and drink tea and I'm sure it makes my head hurts. Wet socks make my feet itch. I have a lot of work to do that I won't get to. My tummy hurts. I miss people. I take a deep breath.

These are not complaints by the way. Merely observations. I can do nothing more at this point. Although I'm done with slippery doorknobs and will use the front door from now on.

Why we do the things we do will forever be my riddle, sonnet, humor and curse mashed together in a perplexing and unbreakable thread. Ask me again in another seven years.

Peace,
A.

PS. Now that I have read this again after some sleep it occured to me that I must give off an impression that I'm backtracking or not dealing with all that has happened very well, which couldn't be farther from the truth. I am in fact moving on, I just want to be sure the relationships I have change in a good way. There are times that I do feel guilty though and sometimes reflections can get muddled...so my apologies.

9 comments:

Patrick said...

... wow.

Best of luck figuring it all out in the next seven, "A"...

Defining David said...

What a fantastic post. I love way you took us down memory lane. I chuckled when the hotel door was open during a naked session of being together. That's something I would do.

You tell such vivid stories, and I, contrary to how you P.S.ed, believe that you are moving on, but just remembering the past and where you have been. Which is a good thing.

Ms. S'ghetti said...

Now you have me crying...

Nothing is a fairy tale, and I give you both props for not letting anything get in the way of your friendship and love for one another. WOw.

"A"- hmm.

Evan said...

Interesting thing...my parents' anniversary was yesterday, too. And I agree with Ms. S'ghetti.

As far as the weather...it was horrible today. Walking to the lab this morning (an 8-min walk), my brand new $20 umbrella - during its second use - was ruined by the wind (from a Nor'Easter supposedly NOT caused by Wilma). Starting the day off in weather like that sucks so much.

rich said...

I hope the next 7 years progress the way you dream it would.

sis. said...

oh geez bro.. i forgot your anniversary again. sigh. : (
will coming to see you this week make up for it? maybe?

Signalite said...

Sis - It's ok darlin', if anything it's important to recall but probably not to dwell. I mean, I should hope by this time next year we won't need to...

Mike said...

this is the sort of post that inspires me to write more than daily drivel on my own blog...not that i always succeed, but it helps to be inspired

thanks for being willing to share

Anonymous said...

I am moved and impressed by your handling of your journey this year and how you've always put your monkeys first and have treated your wife with tenderness, love and respect. It sounds like she is a great person. I hope that someday you get to find out what it's all about in that "other" way--you know what I'm talking about.