Saturday, May 10, 2008

Times Apart That Were Just In Time - Visits to Jane (Conclusion)

I was home, worried about why Barbara wasn't picking me up. Was Marcie going to stay at her parents' for a while after our row? Was she still angry at me? Was this the prelude to a breakup?

Barbara's tone had been somewhat impatient and harried. Of course, she also always yelled into her cell phone, a matter of habit I guess, but still...

She hadn't called when she landed safely, as promised. She hadn't called for three days at all, in fact. Sure, I had reveled in the free time without arguments over food, but the conditions bugged me.

I also was missing the more adult aspects of her presence acutely. Weekends were for lazy productiveness in the house, interrupted by occasional and random passions, complete with her feigned annoyance when I called her the scullery maid.

We had argued too much over this stupid thing, to the point of damage, perhaps? Certainly I thought so. I could not believe that we might break up. Over bacon, no less.

The door opened almost an hour and a half after they had called. In the mean time, I had imagined Marcie sitting with her father, explaining how we weren't going to work out, that she needed to move home...

The smell of pizza wafted in, and all was well. She set it down and kissed me deeply, scratching lightly on my back through my shirt. All was better still.

She broke the kiss and whispered, very poutily, "I missed you, Frank. I'm sorry. I love you."

I nodded and leaned in close as I took in her comforting, wonderful smell again and my blood pressure dopped through the floor, "Oh, sweety, I love you too. I am so sorry."

She buried her head in my chest and Barbara announced she would see us next week for dinner. I mouthed a "thank you" to her and she smiled and left.

Seamus cried his little cat confusion out and demanded his time with Marcie. I took her bags and put them in the room, then came out and set the table. we talked over dinner and some Charles Shaw, "Two-buck Chuck" Cabernet Sauvignon.

"I Had a great time," she said, smiling and looking off into space with a happy, half-bit lower lip, waiting.

"So what did you two do?" I asked between bites of pizza.

She regaled me with the tale of her trip and I drank in her joy as she poured it out. I prompted her just enough, listened and smiled inside. Marcie was back to herself again, not isolated with me and grating.

"Being with Jane this weekend really helped me realize how special you are to me," Marcie said. "I always know you are wonderful, but sometimes I forget you're special."

"Yes, I am occasionally retarded," I said. "What did you tell Jane?"

"I can't tell you what I talk to Jane about," she said. "It's not all you, but when I do tell her some things, it isn't what she says but the look on her face that tells me what I want o know."

She bit her lips and turned her head, reaching across the table to take my hand. I took hers and smiled, cutting off her question, whether I had though about what I loved about her, what I appreciated.

"Honey, it is a privilege to be with you," I said, feeling a lump in my throat. "Hold on."

I had written her my letter of appreciation and went into my little room to get it.

"I started to make a list," I said. "Then I started to write a poem. So finally I just wrote a bunch of metaphors about music."

I began to read.

"Marcie, you don't just cook for me. You feed me and nourish my body and mind. You warm my heart, cinnamon and fire wash over me in your embrace. You sustain me."

"We are a duo, but we are never the same pair for too long. When we are in harmony, we are twin pianos, or four hands, complex compositions flow from us and silence the deafening demands of the world around us."

"When we learn from each other, we are more like a bicinium, our music played not simply for joy but to make a point. We heed and we improve and our music is sweeter still for it"

"When we accompany one another and toll out a grand and sweet melody, we are violin and viola, or clarinet and flute. And if among that a strident piccolo plays, then perhaps our little friend can be forgiven."

"When we support one another, the staccato thump of percussion drives the rhythm of our song, one for the other simply because it is wanted, insistent in the tune the other plays, whether fully known or not."

"Our life together is the music that defines us. When we pause, the world darkens slowly, silence not quite overtaking us as the music echoes in the chamber of our love. Please let us play on, and let our discordant moments fall away as harmony returns."

"Yours are the stanzas in the song of my life that are the most dulcet."

She had long ago gotten out of her chair and held me, crying into my chest. We had a long evening, abandoning our table to the savage desires of Seamus's belly.

We could never have reconnected without her visit to Jane's home in San Francisco.

I still play the music of our life in my own. When my notes are most true, I sometimes hear her own. Then I pause, and I enjoy the low echo, the mingling of her soul's notes with my own, and try to sort them out.

It comforts me that I cannot.