Team Dick

August 16th, 2011

Posted by @ 9:20 PM on Aug 16, 2011

It’s a Sunday afternoon in July and I am mowing my back lawn. There’s a lot of ground to cover and it’s slow going thanks to heat that has permanently glued my T-shirt to my torso and humidity that makes breathing feeling inhaling lobster bisque. My glasses are smeared with the same sweat that is in my eyes. I’m mentally debating the pros and cons of saying “Fuck it” and going in for the day, but having to mow in the cooler weather is outweighed by the fact that the cooler weather is some weeknight after work. I push on, miserable, and barely hear the sound of my name coming from the deck. My wife is motioning me to come over. She has a plate of sliced tomato and a bottle of water. She asks me how it’s going and I tell her it’ll be another half hour before I’m done. Reading my mind, she tells me that it’s “pretty fucking nasty out” and I can hold off on finishing the lawn until a cooler evening. I half-smile, half-grimace and tell her that I’ll just bang out the mowing. She tells me that there’ll be tuna for lunch when I’m done and then takes the plate in. I put the water in my back pocket and finish the lawn in less than twenty minutes. The heat and humidity are long forgotten.

*          *           *          *          *

It’s a summer night in late July of 2004. I’ve been at work since 2pm and, thanks to the Democratic National Convention, can’t even think of driving home until 1am when the roads out of Boston open up. I’ve been keeping busy, reading and watching the trouble reports coming in. I get word that Escape From Boston can finally occur and I rush out the door. I hop in my company car and push that little shitbox to about 85 as I race home, barely beating my own fatigue and 2 o’clock in the morning. My wife – girlfriend at the time – is waiting for me. I’m barely through the door when she’s taken my bag from me and led me back out the door. I’m too tired to be annoyed as she leads me to her car and drives us…somewhere, casually mentioning that she held off on eating until I was home. We do drive-through at the nearby 24-hour McDonalds, parking to eat and chat. I tell her about my night and she tells me about her day. We drive home and I end up sleeping like a baby. Later this week or month or year, we’ll do our grocery shopping at the local grocery store that inexplicably is open all night. We agree that this is the best time to shop.

*          *          *          *          *

We’re driving home from somewhere – our friends’ house, dinner with our family, the bank…anywhere – and we’re listening to a mix CD that she made. Most of the songs, for me, range from ignorable to somewhat enjoyable thanks to somewhat similar but mostly different tastes in music. She’s talking about her latest idea for a novel and I’m alternating between nodding as she talks and providing some initial feedback. The next song comes on, and as the opening notes play, I smile because I know it’s on this CD because I like it. I start singing along and when the female part comes my wife joins in. We’re singing a song we both enjoy, both smiling and ignoring the irony of it all…

The band? Stars. The song? “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead.”

*          *          *          *          *

It’s August 16th, 2011. 12:30am. I’m in bed with seven hours to sleep before work. My wife comes in and engages me in a Twitter-Feed-inspired conversation about the ten best Horror movies of the last fifteen years. I’m having trouble debating most of her choices, as mine are pretty much the same. I tell her I wish she’d watch The Abandoned because I think it’d make her list, although what she’d bump is a mystery to me. She asks me what I’d cut to fit The Descent onto my list. We’re deep into the conversation when she tells me, “I shouldn’t be talking to you about this at 12:30 in the morning…” and I realize that it’s now 1:30, actually. She lets me have my troubled sleep; I drift off arguing in my head whether The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity make my Ten, or if The Descent bounces both. My last coherent thought before sleep takes me is to wonder what year Ginger Snaps was made…

That afternoon, I get an email from her. She’s asking me what I thought of the latest chapter of her new project. As an afterthought, she wishes me a “happy anniversary or some shit.” I reply that I loved the chapter, and knowing what I know about one of these characters, I hate her for how much I loved the book so far. I end my note to her, “Oh, is our anniversary today? Huh…” To celebrate our two years as husband and wife, we order Chinese delivery and dork around on World of Warcraft.

You might ask, “Why aren’t you doing more to celebrate this blessed event?” I know that my niece’s view of romance may have been shattered when I told her what we were doing today. My wife’s offer to “juggle midgets” was little comfort. I could argue that these two years of marriage (that bwessed event…that dweam wiffin a dweam…) were preceded by ten years together. I could tell you horror stories of what we’ve been through together as well as tales that still make us laugh to this day. But it comes down to this simple fact: I love my wife, and what makes her happy makes me happy. Today, what made her happy was a PuPu platter and pork lo mein, knowing that I adore her new project, and the confirmation that she’s got some pretty solid taste in my favorite film genre.

Seeing The Ring with friends and the aftermath of it…

The length and shape of her nose, which she’s needlessly self conscious of (and will make me pay for even mentioning), but that I any crazy about…

The car ride where we named our first Basset Hound, and the fact that I came up with the name. Her response was a pause for thought and a half-surprised “That’s a pretty good idea for a name…”

The debate over the perfect album…

Trick ‘r Treat…

The negotiations of chores for DVDs or books…

Power-leveling a WoW character that I never planned on having, much less becoming attached to…

The Halloween we went in a theme costume…as each other…

Happy Anniversary, babes. I love you.

[“I love you too, asshole.”]

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