Friday, September 27, 2013
Keeping the love Lubed
If I turn the radio off right now, I think the silence may actually consume me. Best leave it on. In fact, maybe even turn it up a little. Alone for the first night in many weeks, the adjustment to my own company will take some time. On one hand there is something appealing about it. On the other hand, not so much.
As I heated the kettle to make a cup of tea, I took just one cup from the mismatched collection of mugs on the shelf. This nightly ritual since the evenings have become cooler was one of those simple acts of nurturing that gave me pleasure. Making cups of hot tea for us following dinner and the post dinner tidy up in the dimly lit kitchen we have shared all summer seemed intimate to me for some reason. Intimacy can take many forms. Knowing exactly how your partner likes their tea or their coffee or their eggs prepared are things we take for granted most of the time. We just do it. We apologize if for some reason it is not quite right. Sorry, darling, I know you like your toast a bit lighter than that, hope you don't mind this morning but I forgot to turn the dial back. If you are lucky, these minor imperfections are shrugged off as mine are. But I do like to get it right most days. I like making him happy in these small ways.
However, for the next month I am on my own. It got me to thinking how difficult it must be when one's partner is not coming back in a month, or a year, or ever. I imagine these are the very things, these ordinary kindnesses that we perform with love and caring that you miss the most. I am already switching gears a bit knowing that the little tasks that I relied on him to do will now be up to me. They are not things I cannot do myself. They are just things that he did. Things that were "his" job. Checking the doors were locked before bed. Pouring me a glass of water before he came to bed so there would be a room temperature glass of water for me in the morning to take my vitamins. Turning on the dishwasher. Taking out the rubbish. Doing any jobs that I deemed "yucky". Things that I am completely capable of doing, but really appreciate someone doing for me.
Small, thoughtful gestures like this are the things that keep a relationship humming along like a well-oiled machine. The constant steady maintenance required to keep the love alive. Stopping in the middle of whatever you are doing to focus on your partner for a moment. The 6 second kiss. Long enough to make it meaningful. A re-connection for no other reason than that - to reconnect throughout the day. Coming back to each other amid all the distractions. Like little shots of WD-40 to keep things gliding along.
He just texted me from LAX. Knowing he is safe on his journey home is important to me. These things are unnecessary really, but we do them to engage with one another. It breaks the silence he knows I am experiencing. The sound of the text startled me. Then soothed me. All good he said. It's what I wanted to hear. All good tonight. All good.
All the time.