An Open Letter to my wife on the first day of February:
It sounds silly, even sophomoric, but when I walk into Walgreens this time of year and see aisle after aisle of cellophane wrapped hearts and cheap stuffed animals and cupid embossed cards I immediately think of you. Naked.
Believe me, it’s a burden! I mean, to carry THAT around all day, or at least every eight seconds? It’s amazing we men have accomplished anything worthy of high ideals; the wheel, a polio vaccine, TOMS shoes, the ShamWow. I know you are shaking your head right now, rolling your eyes, hoping to GOD your mother doesn’t read this, but I am just keeping it real, and your mom has to appreciate that. Her son-in-law is honest. By the end of this open letter, she might even wipe away a tear because of my literary sweetness. So anyway, Walgreens in February, Valentine’s Day, and you naked…(that’s the last time I am going to write that, I promise.) (Sorry Gran.)
See Honey, this letter is to tell you that I am exactly the heel you think I am, but there is another side of me, and it is the stronger of the two. Yes, the reason Madison Avenue and Hollywood draw a bull’s eye around my middle-age male reptilian brain is because I, or better yet, we, collectively, middle-aged married males, are sitting ducks oh so prone to wander after the prurient carrot dangled before our eyes or loins. It’s true. It’s in our DNA. Every where we turn, there it is, something to make us think of nudity or a derivative thereof; yours, or anyone else’s that we can be tempted to fixate upon.
But I am not telling you anything you don’t already know, am I? And it is at this point I probably need to cease speaking for my middle-aged married brethren. I’ll let them woo their own wives, or die trying. The rest of this letter is just for you, and your mother if she is still reading. As much as I am the totality of my component physical parts, I am more. I am a redeemed soul. The part of me that exists before and after my physicality, my soul, loves you. Read that again. My soul loves you.
And the “N” word, the part of our relationship that seems to trump when Valentine’s Day rolls around, is a force all its own. It is amazing what that drive is capable of. And it is good. And I remain faithfully yours. Thank you for giving me that joy in our marriage. And know this, after twenty-three years of marriage, as strong as that Walgreens dude is he plays second chair to my soul. I love you more than I lust you.
When I was asleep in the hospital those twelve October days, I didn’t see a light, or walk toward a tunnel, or even float, although I would have preferred ethereal flight to scenarios of imprisonment and bondage, but I wasn’t that lucky. In my unconsciousness, I was locked away. The common denominator to all my comatose musings was a complete and total frustrated lunge to make my way to you.
Which I suppose is what we are still trying to do this year on our dates…make our way to each other.
Even though Jesus never battled lust when he was picking up a prescription for his high cholesterol, he named demons, called them out, and put them in their place. Maybe it is no coincidence he cast some into swine. All men are pigs it has been said, but there is always redemption. Which brings me back to my soul that loves you.
My soul is available for a date on February 24th. There is a cooking class we can attend at the Fleur De Lys Home Culinary Institute. And the cool thing, my body will be with me the whole time. Interested?