Saturday, April 09, 2005


If you really knew how much I love you, you would be unnerved. Or you would laugh. Or you would be transfigured.

(Now I'm laughing at myself. Remember in the House of Fame, when Chaucer is being carried off into the sky by the Eagle? "Alas, is it Jove's intention to stellify me?" he asks. "Not to worry," says the Eagle.)

I watch you as you sleep. I once drew a picture of you as you slept. You were a bit chagrined. I still have it, though, nearly thirty years later. A very light, barely-there pencil sketch, but it caught the peace, and the extraordinary luminosity. The pilgrim soul in you.

I had no idea, back then, how this love would accrue. No idea what good fortune I had come into. Oh, I was in love, of course -- but, honestly, I was always in love, back then, often with half a dozen people at once. It was not really a high distinction in those days to have Dale entranced with you.

It was living through grief together that sealed it, I guess. Made it grow into something else. We talked about death, in our wedding vows. About the people who couldn't come to the wedding. In those days, in our circles, anyway, to get married was a peculiar thing to do, and it required some explaining. That was our explanation. That we don't have all that long to celebrate. That the time to gather our friends and make our promises was now.

I don't think you really believe it as you should, when I say how beautiful you are. You think I'm being kind. I'm not. One of the very first things I said to you (I had a lot of effrontery, when I was seventeen) was "You -- are radiant." Remember? We met by chance on the wooded path between the gym and the dorms -- you had just been swimming, or working out. I stopped dead. It was just so wonderful, seeing you. You laughed and walked on by.

It's still like that. No darkness can compass you.

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