Saturday, October 20, 2012

on her voice in mine

A visit to Cherry Valley, the part of the year home of my Dad and Stepmom, playing music each night from set lists that were older than me, from a time when my Mom and Dad sang and played together.  Yellowed sheets of legal paper filed away in manila folders.  Notes for her voice, and now my voice, more than thirty years apart. 

My parents don't know each other anymore, but they do in those songs.  These two people, so distant now, sang, played, made me.  Singing the same words gives that past some presence.  Reminds me that it wasn't always like this.  That somewhere in the song lists and sets lists were two people who thought they had it.  They didn't.  But maybe for a short time they were close to it.

Not sure how my Dad will feel about my posting this song since it was recorded without his knowledge (from my cell phone under the table). He hadn't played it in years, and it's not his favorite song to play, so I'll give him that disclaimer.


Friday, October 19, 2012

on the new routine

5:45.  I opened my eyes just long enough to see the numbers on the clock and his shape shuffling around the almost darkness.  I closed them and listened to his moves, knowing what was next without seeing him.  I rolled over and made a noise as he came to my side, kissed my forehead, told me to go back to sleep and that he was sorry he woke me.  I made another sound, the syllables meant "good morning", and slid deeper into the bed, under the covers, finding that spot that a minute earlier meant sleep.

Our routine is changed now.  Before, his waking up meant my waking up.  His alarm was my alarm.  It meant he went to work and I grabbed the backpack and went to the pool for a pre-work swim.  But it's been nearly two months since I've smelled like chlorine on my way to the office, or read an entire book, or watched the NBC lineup on Thursday night.  Two months since he started teaching and our world shifted in this huge, great way.  Now he's up well after midnight writing lessons and I am either on the couch fielding questions about how well it's working, or not working, or waiting in bed for him to join me, unable to sleep until he's beside me.  And so in the mornings I'm exhausted, he should be too, but this is the thing he's worked towards for three years, he doesn't have time to be exhausted.  But I am.  I sleep in for another hour when I should be on my 20th breaststroke.

I know it needs to shift again, that I need to adjust to our new way of life.  As small as they may seem, the little movements of routine, once altered, are hard to reinstate.  But I miss the pool.  I ache and hurt and need it again.  That thing that months ago felt so foreign and scary has become the thing that's started to bring me back to my old self.  With it I had been feeling better, stronger, more sure of my feet and knees and back than I had in two years.

So on Monday I will force the old routine into the new one. 

Writing it here means I have to.