When you feel married, you feel compelled to do things—you feel compelled to do things because you are married. It’s a cycle. Thankfully that cycle disconnected for me, as I reconnected to the way I felt before all these marital requirements became routine. I don’t know why. Maybe I got older. Maybe my kids got older. Maybe I got smarter. Maybe my significant got smarter. I’m not sure how it happened—it just did.
I realized something today on my 32nd wedding anniversary. I know it’s is a very big number—it’s almost an obscene number, I apologize for that. Geez, it’s so big that I don’t need a card to mark the occasion because I probably have 32 of them stashed away somewhere by now. Today, I don’t want to feel married any more….I just want to be in love.
I know it sounds like I checked out but what I’m really saying is that I’ve totally checked in— I see it like this: I don’t need a present or flowers or dinner or anything because these things are expected. As ridiculous as it sounds, I’m just too damn in love to care about all of the predictable marital expectations. It was a good run…wife, husband, married couple, ball-and-chain, etc., but now I pronounce us friend-and-friend. Two best friends with a million (okay, we’re a wee bit older now so not a million…maybe less, maybe a nice round number like 50 years….Geez, that’s only 18,250 sunsets to see—that’s not enough but for poetic reasons I’ll keep the larger number)….with a million sunsets to share.
To my best friend whom I just happened to be ut-hem married to, I’m blowing a kiss across the Big Pond for you to have in hand for tonight’s sunset with a promise that we get back to all the fun and spontaneity of our yesterdays—not the old-ball-and-chain predictable martial expectation stuff, just the happy-go-lucky “in-love” stuff. Even if I’ve messed up on the time zone, we can just watch the next sunset apart but together. I’m being ridiculously cliché here so bear with: we can even watch the sun set every night for the rest of our life and say goodbye to the day, hello to the night or just wait for another tomorrow to begin.
There is a sunset or two (18,250 to be exact) with our name on it. So, best friend, what are you doing for the rest of your married-but-unmarried-in-love life at dusk? Do you have time for a sunset or two? Maybe a million? Okay, okay, I’ll settle for the 18,250 we have left—just promise me you’ll be in love for each and every one. I will.
As nighttime settles peacefully into its patterns of sleep…so does the writer. The night’s movements are alluring, intoxicating, celestial as they dance into the breaths of the writer. In and out, in and out, slowly, serenely, the night’s gentle rhyme is a seduction—luring him deeper and deeper into his unconscious world of creativity.
His body becomes unyielding to the night’s softness–sheets, pillows, darkness. He finds himself floating easily away from the turmoils of the day and into the space of dreams. With each breath, his rhythms soften as an easy deep peace settles over him. As his limbs fill with air, the writer floats into his nighttime office—his nocturnal storytelling realm.
In the recesses of his mind, he sits in his mental chair as his dreams dance around his thoughts and his mind labors–designing, administering, visualizing the stories of his heart.
First enter the fantasies which he controls, but as he is lured deeper and deeper into his unconsciousness, he is no longer governor of his subconscious. His mind starts to weave his fantasies into tales and then stories.
Working into the wee hours, exhausting his mind into submission, the writer lays unknowingly in his state of creation—awakening mentally drained in a momentary stupor, he wonders if he ever really lost consciousness this night—aware that he has dreamt another story.
On this night, while the rest of the world slept peacefully, he was one of the lucky ones—he was able to grab another handful of imagination–another vision, another story from the nocturnal recesses of his mind—a place that awakens only when the nighttime sounds melt softly into the darkness, a place that can only exist….as writers dream.