“Whoa,” he yelped. And jumped, startled to bump into me. It nearly made me drop my glass of juice. That would have made a fine mess.
“Whoa? Garry, I live here. I’m your wife. I live here. Married twenty-three years. We just had an anniversary. You need to get used to having me around.”
“Yes,” he said. “I think I recognize you. I’m pretty sure we’ve met before.”
We met at the college radio station in 1963. We’ve been friends ever since. Fifty years of friendship and we’ve been living together for the past quarter century.This is no fly-by-night arrangement. Yet almost every encounter surprises him enough to make him jump. After all this time, you’d think it wouldn’t be such a shock.
“Remember,” I repeated. “I’m your wife. I live here,” I said it loudly because he didn’t have his hearing aids in.
He grinned. “I know.”
“Then why are you surprised to see me?”
“I didn’t expect to find you in the hallway.”
“Why not? I think it’s safe to say I might pop up anywhere at any time. You need to get a grip on this.”
“Right,” he said.
Immediately after this conversation, I left the bedroom to get the telephone and bring it back to its base in the bedroom. When I opened the door, he jumped. Startled again.
I’m sure he knows we’re married. He bought me flowers and a card just yesterday. He recognizes me with and without my eyeglasses. He put a band-aid on my nose this afternoon. He sends me emails and reads this blog. Nonetheless, he’s always surprised — even shocked — to see me. I’m sure there’s a reason. I’m just not sure what it is.
I live here. Really. I do.
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