I miss you most on Sundays, when the morning was still, and the sun was the smallest hint on the horizon, and we were tangled, limbs entwined like bare vines beneath the stark whiteness of our sheets and winter itself.
I miss the smell of Sunday mornings, your sleepy head, the way you shuffled about the hallways scratching, trying to figure out just what to do with the day, a day that included me.
“I’ll fix the…”
“We should go to…”
“Maybe I’ll call my dad…”
We always liked Sundays to ourselves. No plans, so that spur of the moment plans could be made and met without a hustling hassle, without moving things around, without juggling schedules or crossing things off lists.
We’d listen to Steely Dan, and 10,000 Maniacs, and Elton John, their heartfelt, urgent yearning, the low base beating, the piano, the guitar, the deepness, the hook, while I made blueberry pancakes and put on another pot of coffee, in the vintage percolator that made me happy just to look at, but even more so because it actually worked.
I miss you most on Sundays, when we were lazy and slow and time stood still and our hair stood up and we would stand together, side by side, folding our warm laundry and making barking noises at our dog. He’d look at us funny, cocking his head, raising his eyebrows, wagging his tail, but wondering if he was indeed being mocked. He had his suspicions.
I miss how we would always walk him together, but only, it seemed on Sundays. During the week, the dog walking was a singular chore, a taking turns activity.
I miss you most on Sundays, when there were puttering noises, and exaggerated stretching and open books laying around the house, with a few fairly contented sighs mixed in, breaking through all the other noises. I miss the way you gathered me into your arms, a bear hug squeeze, making me grunt, lifting me ever so slightly off the ground, just because you weren’t in a hurry to get out the door.
I miss the fire crackling and the football game droning on and the way your expletives exploded from your mouth between bites of chicken wings and how your eyes were glued to the formations, the plays, the calls, while I lunged and stretched and fluffed pillows and read my book in the comfy chair off in the corner of the room, the corner I created for myself soon into our union, when I discovered I would need my own space away from you and your emotions.
You had your thing, and I had mine, and that was cool.
I miss you most on Sundays, the day we planned our dinner, the one we cooked together between sips of wine and the telling of anecdotal stories, our small complaints and heavy political talk. We would slip treats to our good boy, who watched and listened as our mouths moved, and we gestured with our hands, our good boy who didn’t take sides, who was simply happy to be a part of our universe, our gentle but compelling reverie.
Sunday, the day we went to the flea market. The day we rolled up our sleeves and cleaned, and mowed and planted. The day we hiked, and biked, and ran. The day we walked with sticks in our mud-caked boots and beanies and flannel. The day of music all day long, and beers in front of the television, in front of the fire. The day we felt the most in love, or at least the most together, the most unbreakable.
But, unbreakable things break sometimes, when there are unseen cracks, when there are dings and scratches, and wounds from moments past but not forgotten. When there is crazing, the sheen of a happy facade grows tired and weak. It crumbles into nothing eventually.
Sometimes, the hardest things to learn are the least complicated.
Sometimes, the joys we take for granted do not gloriously find their way back to us once they’ve gone missing.
Luck is rare, but often difficult, in a short life, to appreciate. Things worn and torn can be mended sometimes but usually, they are tossed into the pile of other unwanted things.
A calm and heaping quiet, the softest whisper of mellow time, Sunday is when I think of you. During the sophisticated reprieve of home and hearth and good vibes and gentle light—that is when your prickly weekend face appears.
I see you in the corners, out the window, in the garden, in the garage. I hear you in our empty house, creeping, while the heat turns on, the dryer cycles, the water drips and the bones that hold wood and stone together creak and crack.
I see you in the missing shoes, on the hooks with no coats, inside the barren closets with swinging hangers.
Sundays were filled with me at my laptop, you at yours, two silent partners lost within our own ambitious, hungry thoughts and our individual worlds.
This particular silent Sunday offers the aching echo of our silence now—but it is not the same.
It is far more quiet. Especially without the dog.