10/14/10: Way to shame me into updating again by commenting, people who comment! (Seriously, though, hi, welcome, and pull up one of the splintery old orange crates that we use for seating 'round these parts seein' as we can't afford no fancy chairs.)

The rules from
here still apply.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I Thought You Would Never

Here's how it was supposed to happen:

After college, I packed up and moved. Fled. Flew to you, literally and figuratively. When I got off the plane and past security and saw you standing there waiting for me, the only thing I could think about was how, this time, I wouldn't be leaving again in a week. I was here to stay this time. I was home.

I got a job, maybe at the hospital near where you lived, maybe not. You'd gotten your degree about the same time I had -- maybe a little before, maybe a little after, the details aren't important. We got married. Six, seven years waiting for life to begin, and now it finally had.

We had an apartment and a cat -- or two, or three, though I would've balked at four. Life wasn't perfect, and it wasn't always easy or even pleasant, but we managed to muddle through somehow. Sometimes in the evenings we would watch Star Trek together and I would pity all the rock stars and kings and millionaires of the world because they weren't here, arms wrapped around you, feeling your heartbeat, your breath.

We never had kids, of course. Neither of us ever wanted them in the first place; and our lives were full enough without them. We never needed them. We had each other.

Eventually we left the apartment for a house somewhere, a small one, enough room for you and me and the cats. Maybe even a place on the street you showed me once -- remember? -- sweet little homes on garden lots with tall, leafy shade trees lined up by the curb. Walking distance to the international market, all the Pocky we could carry. You used to pass that street on the bus and dream. Wherever we wound up, though, it was home.

We grew older together, and it turned out to be as simple and good as we had always imagined, back when we were stuck thousands of miles away from each other. Life went on, and we went with it, and it was the same as it had ever been since it started that day we married. Mostly happy. Mostly good.

Eventually we both retired, still together, still you and me and maybe a cat. You were my world. I was happy to be yours as long as you wanted. We had forty years, fifty? -- not much more, probably, I was already edging towards 30 by the time I graduated -- but we had decades, and we never fell apart like my parents did, never drifted away like your parents did. It was like a fairy-tale romance, if there was ever a fairy tale with more frogs than princes.

But eventually, of course, one of us died. Maybe both. Maybe there was a gas leak, both of us going peacefully in our sleep. Our bodies found together with your head still on my shoulder. Better that than the alternative. If it came down to that, though, I'd be willing to be the survivor. Waking up each morning, knowing that this is yet another day in a long, long string of them without you: it hurts more than anything else I've ever experienced; and I've had an organ slowly fail, undiagnosed, over the course of years. I wouldn't want you to have to go through this, and so I'd be willing to be the survivor, again. At least I'd be at the end of my life, instead of still staring decades more of it down. Nobody bats an eye when one eighty-year-old dies and the other follows a week later.

That's how it was supposed to happen, plus or minus a few details: you, me, a good half-century of happy married life together.

Apparently it would've made us Pluggers, but who cares about that?

Way to go, Pluggers. I know that you're better than me because you don't bother with ridiculous citified things like computers, cable TV, paved roads, or basic sanitation; but do you have to rub it in by reminding me that you get to have your Twu Wuvs not die young, too? I mean, really. Apparently I missed the one where Brookins illustrated "Pluggers are big mean jerks".

All of this fic is true, or at least as true as an alternate history of the future can be. I have school notebooks going back to about 2001 where the back pages, unneeded for class, are filled with daydreams of a similar nature... though of course there was more hope involved when it was still, y'know, actually possible. Mine is a sad and kind of pathetic story. I'm just glad I got my gothy-poetry phase out in high school, so I haven't had to sink quite that far again.

"Mostly happy. Mostly good." is a bit I have lifted from Neil Gaiman's "The Wedding Present," from
Smoke and Mirrors. It's in the introduction, not in the table of contents. It's very good, although I can't really read it anymore. Maybe because it's too good. Way to go, Gaiman.

1 comment:

carrie-bloom said...

I remember reading about your loss when you started this blog. I may have posted then but if not - I'm so sorry.