Beloved Wife


24. Jan. 2006, 21:02

There are certain songs I listen to on repeat without apology. In college, while I was locked inside my dorm for an entire weekend, in the same pajamas, playing Myst like a nerd, I listened to Anna Begins by The Counthing Crows over and over again. I do it until it's in my bones, like cold after a day of watching soccer from the sidelines in late fall. It has to get to every part of me. I did the same thing with Lisa Loeb's Sandalwood and Midnight Train to Georgia and Love Will Come to You by The Indigo Girls. I Think I'll Disappear Now by Crash Test Dummies. I could go on for a long damn time. Lately, it's been:
Eleanor by Low Millions.
Trouble Sleeping by The Perishers.
Your Nervous Heart by Rhett Miller.
Diamond Ring by Pedro the Lion.
Jane by The Barenaked Ladies.
Hands Down by Dashboard Confessional
And mostly at night, Beloved Wife by Natalie Merchant.

My grandmother died eleven years ago, leaving behind a husband, two sons, and two granddaughters. I was with her men last night in my father’s car as we drove my grandfather back to his house after dinner. He was telling us about his neighbors, about the woman down the hall who reads my blog and invited him to the movies to see Cinderella Man. “I ask her about you, to keep up. She knows more about what you’re up to everyday than I do. She said, ‘boy does she like clothes.’”
“Yes, clothing.”
“Clothes? Maybe from my photos. I don’t think I write about clothes.”
“Must be.”
“Grandpa, you should go with her to the movie. You’ll love it.”
“Have you seen that feature?”
“No, but I want to. You really should go.” Then he complained about his eyesight and wasn’t sure he’d be able to see the screen properly. He just had to give up his car. It must be very frustrating, aging, having to depend on people. The older you get, the more people treat you like an infant, I suppose.

“I have another neighbor,” he continued, “who stopped me in the lobby the other day. A very nice woman. She said, ‘may I ask you a personal question?’ I said, ‘sure.’ She then asked, ‘Why don’t you get remarried?’” She asked as if it’s a decision, like one day waking up and deciding you’d like to add banana to your cereal.

“Because I’m still in love with my wife.”

I want to love someone that much, enough to put them on repeat for the rest of my life.


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