I was angry at you, because you are always working on something, you can’t just sit and relax, you fill your weekends with chores and sweaty work. I said, it’s not enough you work all week, you work all weekend, too. Do you think you could have one Saturday without needing two showers? You looked rather hurt, and I felt bad because I know that this is how you grew up, you grew up blurring the line between work and play, you really enjoy a challenge. But I pressed on, determined to teach you how to relax. You scoffed at me. Would I rather that you play video games? sit around the house? spend your time online? No, no, of course not, I sputtered. It’s just, here, why don’t you read a book? Why don’t you go to the coffee shop and read? Why don’t you go for a solitary walk?
And even after all these years, I still don’t quite understand, do I? How you don’t read for fun like how I read for fun, how you love the feel of working with your hands, how you only use the computer to check college football recruiting stats. And you don’t understand why I don’t understand that this – this smell of wood, this sweat, this garage working around, this blackberry bush hauling, this gardening in the dirt – this is fun.
The next Saturday, you said, you agreed, No Projects! I promise! And in the afternoon, as I was beginning to make supper, I heard your old saw begin to whirr. I stomped down the stairs, pulled open the garage door, you looked up with a grin, the sawdust swirling in the sunlight, your eyes dared me to be mad at you, and you said, it’s not a REAL project, just a little one, a fun one.
I laughed at my own foolishness, I know when I’m beat, when will I stop trying to make you be more like me? You came over to me, smelling of sawdust, you kissed me like you meant it, and when I went back upstairs, I smelled like sawdust, like you, and it made me glad.
There are a million ways we’ve had this same conversation over the years, because, baby, you and me? We’re just so different. But we keep finding these ways to connect, these ways to bind our hearts, sometimes we don’t quite get each other, I know I must frustrate you sometimes with own needs for my books, my tea, my Downton Abbey, my solitary walks, my yarn, my blogging, my writing, don’t even get you started about Twitter. But the truth is that we’re different, we’ll always be different, and so we seek each other out, like an elusive balance, holding each other’s life steady, you pull me back to Centre and I like to think I pull you towards my own Centre, we’re finding some core thing here. Maybe that is why it’s still fun, for both of us, we’re blurring the lines of work and play, smelling of sawdust and longing for each other, books and honest sweat, laughter and arguments.
I write now and then about what love looks like for us.