...over the past, I don't know, SEVEN of the eight and a half years I've been married how a relationship that was so dreamy and exciting and fulfilling and flirty and yummy could turn into a marriage that has become grumpy and blame-y and yell-y and cross-armed.
The man who used to sit out on the tiny balcony with me and play with my hair as I smoked a cigarette and watch the sun set with me, listening to me babble on about my life so far has turned into a guy sitting on my couch scratching his balls yelling at my kids because their need to pee has interupted the snarky French news he keeps having to pause in order to put them back to bed.
The man who used to call in sick to work so that we could spend the morning or afternoon in bed together, staring at each other, kissing, tickling or other, ahem, things has turned into the guy who comes home to shovel food in his mouth, check his non-work email/the latest sports scores/the financial accounts and run on back to work because "I gotta go."
The man with whom I spent an entire month never turning on the television because we were so intensely in love with one another's faces that we fell asleep with the light on. The man with whom I shared a TWIN bed on the floor and neither of us minded. The man I used to draw baths for and bathe and massage before we went to bed. The man who used to write me love letters. Cry on the phone when we were separated even for a weekend. Bring me home surprise household appliances, just because. Grab my butt in passing. Hold me tightly, sighing, as we passed in the middle of the night, taking turns going pee.
That man has become that guy who does things half-assed, doesn't turn his nasty socks right-side-out and leaves them for me to do it, puts the butter container back into the fridge empty, wakes me up with his noxious farts, doesn't help me clear the table in the morning, stacks the dishes in a precarious way so that I have to tiptoe while running the dishwater, puts WAY too much cover overhang on his side of the bed whenever (seldom) he makes it--leaving the mattress showing on MY side of the bed, the dude who sighs and whines when I ask him to do me a favor and go get the kids because I don't feel well.
What happened? Where did my boyfriend go?
He got old and married.
I didn't figure it out until he called me today, mid-morning and when I answered, he whispered, "Hey."
I whispered back, "What?"
"You wanna go to the movies?"
"When? At 11?"
"Why am I whispering?"
"Because if you don't, maybe I won't either."
We both snicker.
"Yeah, I'll go to the movies with you."
We work it out in giggly whispers that I'm to go to the resto close by, get us some sammiches and meet him at the theatre right at 11 to see Up In the Air (or whatever it's called in English).
I get there, get the sammiches, get my popcorn and read until he shows up. We watch the movie. GOOOOOOOD movie. Funny. Makes me SO GLAD I'm going home. I even rapped during all of the "Bust a Move" scene as he tried to shush me.
Afterward, I got a Velov and he got his regular bike. We rode home together. I felt like he was my boyfriend again. He had played hookie to go to the movies with me... just cuz. Cuz I'm leaving and he knows he's gonna miss me. Cuz maybe he wants to feel like he was my boyfriend again. I asked him if he wanted to ditch work some more and see another movie. He said, "I can't" and that sucked, but at least he sounded disappointed.
I said, "You wanna ride bikes around the park once? Since it might be our last time?"
"Nah. I really can't." Again, he sounded tempted.
I docked my Velov and kissed him goodbye. He waved and said, "Thanks for the movie. That was really fun!" He said it as though we had never done that before. He sounded like a twenty-something. It made my heart race. It made my belly warm. You know what I mean.... It gave me a hard-on, okay? And as I walked away, I realized that somewhere in there, buried under the disillusionment, under the unmet expectations and the misplaces assumptions... lives my young, hot boyfriend, trying hard to hold onto his girlfriend long enough to get these kids raised so we can run away together again. The hard knocks of having to be responsible and mature have made us resentful... Spiteful... Immature. But if we can just hang on, maybe we'll find little hints and glimpses of who we used to be--who I hope we still are deep down--until a time comes when our lover selves get to come out and play again.