Life is hard. You can find the one you love, but death still beats at you and beats at you until you can’t imagine you can keep moving. It might be infertility for some or illness for others, but death wins in the end. On that road toward the end, it may be lovely sometimes, lying in bed with the man you love, or sitting on a blanket at the park, watching him and your boy swing circles on the grass, or it can be a lonely afternoon when you’re so incredibly tired yet you can’t manage to sleep. You’re not sure why you’re so tired, the endless insomnia, maybe. Or it’s the rotten food you’ve been eating instead of healthy stuff with low carbohydrates. It could be fibromyalgia, the way the doctor predicted, but it could just be that you’re getting old and your hormones are confused. That could be why your hair won’t grow the way it should.
And yet the love is still there. It’s intensity surprises you as it aches with the fear that you might lose him someday to his own litany of weaknesses. Does he have heart disease in his future, like most men, like his own grandfather? Will he succumb to cancer the way your father did? He’s had his own serious bouts which have made you afraid. The idea of losing him too soon is there when he sleeps in, when you don’t want to open the door to wake him, yet your urge to just peek to make sure his cheeks are pink overwhelms you. When is too soon to lose him? You both could be ninety and it would still be too soon. Your grandma used to grieve for your grandpa, thirty years after he was gone despite her second marriage to a very sweet man. The true romance, she told you, was with your grandpa.
You sit in your house, classical piano music playing in the background, putting a sound track to your quiet life. Daylight is dimming and you remember that you have always felt melancholy at this time of day, when the light begins to fade and you face another long night of wakefulness while your love gently sleeps. You thought that feeling went away, years ago, in the midst of falling in love, when you were with him at work at that afternoon hour. But when you’re quiet, you know you’ve always felt the anguish of the afternoon. It helps, because he’s back to work after his surgery and your noisy boy is still at school, to have the dog touching his nose to your elbow or knee as you work. It helps to have the cat jump into your slanted lap as you sit at the edge of your seat at the computer. In about five minutes, your boy will help, romping up with hill from the bus stop, sounding like a fledgling, chirping for a meal. Your boy, wearing his jacket of energy, will help.
Here he comes. You can hear him singing. Better now.
Thank you for listening, jules