You’re sitting across from me at the table. It’s our date night, something we don’t do often enough. This is what’s between us: Refinancing our mortgage, investing in the kids’ 529’s, our parents getting older, a bigger car, our work, fatigue, the next family vacation, time. We wonder loosely whether to go with the mushroom tortellini or the shrimp risotto.
I look at you. Deeper than I’ve had the breath to do in weeks.
There are new lines on your face, each one a story of concern for us, your family. I look at you, only half-hearing the words of explanation and regret.
“You’re not listening to me,” you say.
I look at your face, the face I’ve loved every day since I met you, and this is what I want to say:
This morning I woke up to something complete — to you, the simple sound of you, steady and warm. This morning I woke up and all the things that unsettle me, keep me hurtling forward, were for that moment hushed, because you were there. This morning, before the sun split the sky, the world was perfect, because our children were near in their beds and I was next to you.
This morning you walked out the door after a short kiss and we went on with our days. The small and large crises, the trifling errands, the lost instruments and heartbeats, the contracts and calculations, the needs of others wrestling with our own wants — but you kept coming back to me. In moments at the computer on the road, in conversation, I was reminded of you, and why my life is always brimming.
I was reminded of you — the man who looked at me and said, Yes.
You are sitting across from me at the table. It’s our date night, and you are right. I’m not listening. I’m just holding you with my eyes and thinking, You. Always You. Only. You.
With a Perspective, I’m Susan Dix Lyons.
Susan Dix Lyons lives in St. Helena.