Happy Sixth Anniversary Juliet! This little piece, surely you’ve come to expect, is a quasi state of our union. This address encapsulates the hows, the whys, and the hopes, I spend hours of my weeks considering. In the 9th year of our togetherness, I have finally started to believe you like me. While I still have some trouble liking myself, you demonstrate everyday that you have some inexhaustible capacity for enduring this impulsive, and whimsical man you married. Now that we are about to return to our passion for overseas travel, it seems a fitting time to tell you some things that make me happy about you, and where we are in life.
When you wander in to my office, after I have let you sleep in, I am so excited to see you. It is as if my joy really awakens at the instant I hear your sweet morning voice.
When you emerge from the train, after a very long day at work, I am eager to provide you a safe haven to share your day’s stories with me.
Your attire, while always a challenge of time in the selection, is an area for which I may admire your taste, and your ability to marry color and class. This is the yearly comment on your scarves (you all knew there had to be at least one). You will be challenged on our trip to find a new balance when wearing the scarves on your head. However, I already know I will be able to find you among the myriad of tourists, worshippers, and staff. Your style, grace, and particular movements, will make you immediately discernible, as the most elegant woman in a museum or mosque.
Juliet, I am not sure how it is for other people. I just cannot wait to be home, with you, no matter where I go. Yes, I need to work, and I have been away more in our last year than at any time I have known you. I can say with all surety, I don’t like it. I do not like being far from you. You are my sounding board, my moral compass, and my coping mechanism. I am not macho (much), or the silent strong type. I do not hide my emotions, or need to be out with the boys in order to feel like a man. I am rather repulsed by the idea of revelry that does not include your joy as well.
I can fool no one. The world knows my affection for you is beyond the range of human norms. I am far from normal, and your love and patience are also beyond these established social parameters.
To borrow a phrase from the GH, who cares! Our army of two is enough to weather the daily bevy of shit that is dosed out to us. We are not naive enough to expect the “starms” won’t come. We have, luckily, had the forethought to build a bunker of mutual respect, in order to weather them.
I am so glad you tried me on 6 years ago. I hope that I still fit. We have found some stability to our wanderlust, but only long enough to refuel it. I wonder what your powers of observation can assess from these new travels. I wonder if I am capable of seeing the world more clearly, because of your belief in our travel.
Back to things that make me happy…
When I see you sit up strong and sure, eating something you would never have dreamed of, just a few short years ago, I inflate with pride. Your passion for food is highlighted by your supernatural sense of smell. A corked wine cannot escape you. A cigarette, smoked in 2003, in front of a wind tunnel, remains as pervasive as ever to your keen senses. At times your nose betrays you, with its rampant running. If not, I might be convinced you are not of this earth. And of course, in my world, you are not, and I love that. I love watching your observations unravel a foppish pedant. Although you wouldn’t verbally assail his folly, your eyes tell me all I need to know. Faced with the prospect of poor company, we run to the safety of a salty dog, in utilitarian bar. Afterwards, we climb steps to our newest home. Then we sit over Miles Davis at breakfast, and consider the grind of our coffee, laughing that we care, but caring even more. Our food life is how we fill in the spaces. It is how we use our curiosity when we cannot be away from home.
We are returning this 6th year. We are returning to the adventures we were born to experience. It is never easy, and I suppose it could not be. The pull of the past, and the ease at which we believe we can manage anywhere, are polarizing forces in our lives. The days grow quicker and so we must embrace our experiences, this love, and the great fortune of being alive. We must live this gift, and make our mightiest effort to be the best of ourselves. It is the best of ourselves that attracted us to one another, and it is the worst of ourselves that bonds us tighter, and gives us pause. We pause for laughter, self-deprecation, and the ease at which we can be ridiculous, without judgement.
I think this is the crux of it all, right Juliet? The reason we are who we are, is because we are allowed to be. Our home, our dreams, and our fondest minutes exist in the details only known, sensed, and remembered, by us. We may share them without fatigue, and to our final waking moments before sleep each night.
That is the moment when I may be the most happy. When I watch you drift into dreaming, I listen to the breathy nature of your voice, and rest easy knowing you are there, in love with me.
As I am most assuredly in love with you.
Happy Anniversary Juliet!