Seven o’clock on Wednesday night in a tidier than-usual kitchen. A loaf of banana bread cools on the counter and the kettle heats on the stove. As I finish up the dishes, iTunes ends a ballad by Over the Rhine and flips to The Weepies: Gotta Have You.
No amount of coffee, no amount of cryin’
No amount of whiskey, no amount of wine
No, no, no, nothing else will do
I’ve gotta have you.
I have two playlists on my husband’s laptop: Domesticity (a blend of old up-beat favorites designed to get me humming through the daily chores) and Husband, Come Home (a mix of more mellow, melancholy tunes put together the first time Zach was away overnight). They only play when I’m alone and seeking to drown out the quiet for a while.
HCH is spinning at the moment, and appropriately, too, for my better half is putting in an appearance at his school’s information night this evening. This incredible man barely had a moment to eat dinner between his daily P90X feat of exertion and school on either side.
People warned me about the first year of marriage. They told me all about misunderstandings, yelling, and fearful doubts creeping up in the night. They tried to explain that everyone wonders, now and again, if they made the right choice. Maybe I’m still only a foolish newly-wed, naïve to the real struggles, but it seems to me that all this premarital counsel missed the mark.
No one mentioned, for example, that if I’m not careful, tears of gratitude will ruin my mascara during the morning drive as I thank God for the man I just dropped off at work. They forgot to tell me that all my worst fears would diminish and fade in the light of a new, unthinkable, unendurable possibility of losing him. Not a word was said about how difficult it is to maintain a social life when all I want, all the time, is to be home with him. And, somehow, they forgot to warn me about the painful, breathless moments when I’m walking down the street by his side and suddenly feel a surge of love that will no longer be kept at bay.
Yes, that’s it: people told me about the fights and the conveniences and the frustrations and the perks, but no one told me about the love. They couldn’t, of course, any more than I can tell you. To attempt speak it is to open to the floodgates of a current that no words can survive.
Seven-thirty on a Wednesday night in an empty kitchen. The bread has cooled and the tea has, unfortunately, stewed. Our song comes up. The Wallflowers serenade me and I wait for my husband to come home, knowing that
(Happy seven months, darling)