Twenty Years

marksketchThere is a heavy fog outside with a drizzle and a chill.  Fog tends to put me in a magical and mysterious mood, like the setting of a classic Agatha Christie novel or the dream state that happens only moments before you open your eyes in the morning.  Mark and Scarlette have trotted off into the weather, umbrella in hand, for a much overdue date between daddy and daughter.  I sit perched at a freshly cleaned desk, music in the air and a ridously long list of work from a week of sickness and circumstance that has left me very far behind.
Where do I start?  This morning, I attempt to complete the editing of the first ten pages of what I hope to be my first published work.  While my other writings are in various stages of completion, this piece is near done and therefore gets the honorary position of being first in line.  This book will be, if all goes well, the publishing of the journal I kept while I was pregnant with Scarlette.  I thought I might share with you one of my entries from the journal that pertains to my husband Mark.  April 3, 2012 will be the twentieth anniversary of our first date and I thought it a perfect time to start reminiscing.  As for the sketch, this is another found piece from our years in Boston.  I must have drawn him dozens of times but there’s only a few that seem to have stayed with me.  Here’s the entry and the sketch.  Thanks for reading.
October 17, 2008 – 17 weeks
Where was I?  Oh yes, the greater purpose here.  Before we jump into lofty purposes and the mysteries of the universe, I suppose we should get you up to speed and tell you a bit about the last few months.  Actually, you should know about the last few years to get a good idea of how you came about.  Truth be told, the story begins before all of that, long before.
Before he was your father, he was a boy I met in a long hallway sixteen years ago. I was fourteen.  He was fifteen.  Somewhere between classes and rushing to beat the late bells, the crowds had cleared in a span of hallway between the cafeteria and the gymnasium.  The length of the hall, as I remember it, was near endless lined with lockers and lit from one end by a wall of windows.  The world had melted away.  The hall was silent and empty besides the two of us at opposite ends. We had seen each other before but not like this.  We were walking toward each other for what seemed like eternity. I felt out of body, from a different place, a different life not my own.  As we passed each other, the earth shuttered a bit or maybe I did. The proximity of our hands and our eyes was magnetic.  There was something more than sexual, physical although youth, as I know now, tends to mimic acts of the universe. Nevertheless, what I understand now, what I’ve come to know, the logic in me, the truth about us and the roads we’ve taken hasn’t diminished that first moment of impact.  Still just as strong and heart stopping as it was then, still as otherworldly to this thirty one year old woman as it was for that fourteen year old girl.
In the beginning, when it takes you, there is little to do with free will, with choices, or so it feels.  What happens after that depends on whether you allow your story to unfold like falling dominoes set off from that first kinetic moment or you recognize that your life is a product of your choices, made and unmade.  
The years that would follow seemed to be happening to us more than by us but that wasn’t true at all.  Our love affair was not a falling down of dominoes but a long line of consecutive decisions to stay.  We were in the middle of a dream, of a storm, of a fantasy, of a sweet torture. Young love is something to be weathered and survived or abandoned all together.  For reasons we probably couldn’t even explain today, we kept choosing each other.
I’d love to tell you it was perfect but it wasn’t.  It was real and that made it beautiful.
There’s more to this story that I’ll save for later.  For now, I’m putting down the pen for the night; hand on my belly, singing you to sleep, leaning on your father.

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