Saturday, October 27, 2012
just so us
"I love trees."
I hung over the railing, the view from the bridge awash in greens and autumnal yellows, thick trunks extending toward the sun only to create their own shade in a glory of foliage.
"Why?" Chris asked. I've said it so many times that it was a fair question.
Because they're pretty might seem like the obvious answer, and probably the kind of answer I've given before, but this time my instincts told me there was so much more to it than that. "I honestly don't know," I told him after a few moments of brow-furrowing. "I know why I like rain, but not trees."
"Fair enough." A classic Chris answer. Demanding is just not his style.
We continued across the bridge, hand-in-hand, feeling our noses grow chilly. I acted as tour guide on this particular date night, which he didn't mind. We circled through the train station, then down the long walking path that is now familiar to me. I wondered out loud what kind of tree a certain one was, and Chris responded by using his smartphone to take a picture and run a Google search. I kept walking backwards to listen to Chris with ears and eyes, not to mention holding both his hands.
"I want to show you something in particular," I said. "I like aimless meandering fine, but I thought you might appreciate having an actual destination."
My chosen landmark was the underside of the car bridge, where someone has painted a mural. Two green, dragon-shaped longboats (and one whimsical car) convey amorphous people over the river, while in the background, the sky fades from night to day over a city. It's well-executed, with vague enough symbols to warrant conversation. Chris did not disappoint, and we lingered there for several minutes, hypothesizing about the passage of time, industrialization, and how the cityscape was obviously Lafayette. (That part was news to me.)
I looked back, as we walked away, and smiled, my eyes soaking in the bridge. "I think," I said suddenly, "that I love trees for the same reason I love bridges and stairs and doorways."
"Bridges and stairs and doorways?" Can you hear the incredulity?
"Yes. They're...passages. Like the wardrobe in Narnia. You never really know what's on the other side. Of the doorway, or the bridge, or that line of trees. And...I think finding out comes with a sense of...privilege."
"Because you've been granted passage?"
"Precisely!" I smiled, gratified that I was being understood. "I think that's what a writer is like. We see what's through the threshold, around or underneath, or we want to. We're fascinated. Sometimes that's to my detriment, because I don't see what's obvious and on the surface - but it's sure fun."
He just nodded, content to mull it over, while I basked in the joy of having finally verbalized what I had always felt and never said. We stayed silent to watch the train go by.
That walk was so uniquely us. We have these moments that are saturated with our particular way of interacting, with Chris being really him and me being really me, and it really works. It's like being married to him is the most obvious thing in the world.
And yeah. I guess it is.
at 2:16 PM