What is marriage for, again?

Postcard from Stella's, stellasrichmond.com

Postcard from Stella's, stellasrichmond.com

"What is marriage for again?" I ask my sponsor, again.

 "To make us conscious," she says, again.  She has told me this 1,000 times. I want her to say something different. To make us happy. To make us rich. To make us whole. So we will be saved.

She refuses. 

In 2 weeks I will have been married 15 years and I may be beginning to form my own answers. I've wanted my husband to save me once, a thousand times.

He refuses.

Thank God. I've had to save myself. I've had to throw myself at God. I've had to walk a million miles across the wilderness, figure out how to balance my own checkbook, get my own jobs, learn to live inside my very own skin. 

Thank God, thank God, thank, God. I wouldn't trade what I've had to do for all the tea in China. 

He has almost left. I have, too. But there's something about the way we smell to each other, and also, I think, our souls. I recognized his instantly, almost told him so, glad I didn't, asked the time instead. I thought I could end my search right there but in so many ways it had only just begun. 

I remember waiting for my dad by the front door days before he came home. I remember when he went to treatment instead of Easter and wondering what inside of a bottle could have stolen him from me. I remember loving him with a love so big it nearly toppled me, the kind of love that builds up and up and up like air inside a balloon, that eventually must escape to go be with the wind. 

I remember sleeping on a cot on the floor while my husband painted his john boat blue and new friends gave us an old bed I never thought we'd sleep in together. I remember thinking I'd get married a few times but then I found the one that somehow combined them all.  


Valley HaggardComment