There might be some sap. Some cheese. Some predictability. Some wince-inducing triteness. What can I say? Sometimes love makes a girl soggy.
Squirrel and I have been married a little over six months, and I would be lying if I said that there hasn’t been a bit of an adjustment period. No matter what anyone says, marriage is more than a piece of paper. You can’t just rip it up and make it go away.
Squirrel puts up with a lot. I am stubborn, opinionated, mouthy and full of sass. I am often impatient and sometimes judgmental. I am chronically overemotional and cry at all kinds of ridiculous things. I put his life on display much more often than he would choose to. In fact, he would never choose to. If all of this weren’t enough, I also all-too-frequently possess the maturity level of a twelve-year old. I make prank phone calls, create stupid lyrics to show tunes and make gifts for my friends like this year’s Valentine’s Day cupcakes:
The quirk I find the oddest, though, is that he’s always leaving the faucet running. Not just a little drip, but a steady stream. I can’t figure this out. He has perfectly strong hands. The handles turn easily enough. It’s like mid-wash he gets so distracted by his own thoughts that he simply walks out of the bathroom with the faucet still on. This would not be such a big deal if we didn’t have a precarious water situation. Our spring has a lot of issues, and we never know when we’re going to be out of water – sometimes for days at a time. So to see water going down the drain, emptying what could be our last reserves, sometimes causes me to become a bit…oh, shall we say….agitated.
Yesterday I was driving in Eureka behind a man on a motorcycle. A car going the opposite way made an illegal left-hand turn and missed the bike by mere inches. It took a few seconds before I could breathe again after imagining what could have happened. The incident made me think of my friend Dana.
About ten years ago Dana’s husband was killed in a motorcycle accident. She was 25 years old, and he was the love of her life. They had only been married for four years, and they had a son, Jason, who was just three. The first time I saw Dana and Jason after the accident, Jason came running to me, jumped into my arms and said, “Auntie Kristabel…did you know that my daddy’s in heaven when he’s supposed to be at work?”
Several weeks after that Dana called me in the middle of the night. She was simultaneously sobbing and laughing hysterically, and I could barely understand what she was saying. Apparently she had accidentally knocked over the box from the crematorium that her husband’s ashes were in.
“Did you know that it’s not just ashes?” She said between gasps and hiccups. “There are chunks in here too. Bones. Teeth. What the hell am I supposed to do…vacuum up my husband?”
For months I watched her struggle with her enormous grief while trying to raise her son the best that she could. She always said that he was the one thing that kept her from remaining in a fetal position on the floor for the rest of her life. There were days when I wasn’t sure how she made it through. There were days when I’m sure that she thought she never would.
I was still thinking about Dana last night when I walked into the bathroom, looked at the sink and saw a thick stream of water flowing from the faucet. For a split second I felt the irritation start to wash over me. Then I looked at myself in the mirror above the sink, felt something yank at the insides of my stomach and suddenly it hit me.
There’s only one thing that could be worse than seeing that faucet running water every god damn day for the rest of my life.
Not seeing it.