My husband left at 5:00 a.m. this morning for a business meeting in Phoenix.
It’s only a two-hour drive, but whenever he goes, it still seems to me like he’s going a million miles away.
“Wait. Turn on the light so I can see you,” I call out to him after he comes over to the bed and kisses me goodbye.
Obediently, he stands there in his navy blue cashmere sports coat, business slacks and striped shirt, with a silk tie casually hanging around his shoulders.
“You’re a god,” I tell him as he laughs.
“Yeah,” he says, and turns away, calling out over his shoulder that he’ll text me when he gets there.
He’s the guy, the guy who is so graceful, so tender and so natural—who told me that he fell in love with me on that first date, when we’d met three years before, for breakfast at the Arizona Inn. He’d ordered blue-corn pancakes, and I’d ordered a mushroom omelet with bacon—and when it came, my plate had four pieces of bacon on it and his had none.
“I fell in love with you when you shared your bacon with me,” he told me later, and I would tease him, saying I always knew that bacon was the fairy dust of food, but that I didn’t know it could make a man fall in love with me.
When he left for Phoenix this morning, I got up and walked out to the living room to lock the door behind him, and I watched through the window to see him take his long, lanky body out to the car.
I remembered that first breakfast—that first time that I learned that his previous wife of 48 years had died only 10 days before I had put that piece of bacon on his plate—he walked me out to my car holding my hand in a grip so tight I thought he wouldn’t be able to let go.
I actually thought he was holding on for dear life—that was my actual thought—and my heart went out to him.
“I’m glad he met me,” I said to myself. “I’m not a woman who would think he’s crazy for placing a personal ad on Craigslist a mere 10 days after a hole had opened up inside of him deep enough to cause him to hold somebody’s hand as if his life depended on it because—it probably did.”
When he came to the porch of my house to pick me up for our second date, he literally said, “Wow,” when I opened the door to his knock.
On that date, after looking at a luscious photographic display of the amazing Frida Kahlo at the Tucson Museum of Art, we went into the auditorium to watch the movie of her life, in which—from her death bed—she called her friends near to say goodbye.
“I love you,” Frida was whispering. “I love you too,” each of them whispered back, and I felt my own new widower friend shudder in the seat next to me, his chest quaking. I put my hand on his thigh as he tried to get through that scene in a manly way without having to get up and run out of the theater sobbing.
When the movie was over, we walked to the railroad station to have a glass of wine, and split a hamburger, and watch the trains come in—and afterward, he took me back to my front porch and said, “Where do we go from here?” and I said, “I thought we’d go inside and get naked” and that’s when I saw that long, lanky body of his—unadorned—for the first time.
What is it about men that it only takes them five minutes to get undressed—what is it about them that they’re lying in the bed waiting for you and watching while you’re still taking down your hair and taking off your skirt and your belt and your necklace and your earrings.
Better yet, what is it about them that makes them fall in love with you, when all you do is see that you have four pieces of bacon on your plate, and they have none, and so you quietly, naturally—share.
Author: Carmelene Siani
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina