My husband was in a foul mood. It was so hot, so unbearably hot. We had to go to Warsaw and do a bunch of things and he didn’t want to. But we decided to make a day of it.
We drove down and did our work and got in our swim suits.
He found an old tape of Creedence Clearwater Revival and we listened to “Born on the Bayou” over and over and over. I never liked it before. I thought only stoners and hippies listened to that stuff, but now I see why. It is authentic and real and swampy.
And maybe that’s love.
It changes everything.
We spent the blistering afternoon swimming, drinking, listening to Creedence.
The kids swam. They played in the boat. They played in the car. We sat and listened to music and talked.
I looked at Francis and said, “We could live here. It could be like this all the time.”
And he said, “You know it can’t. Don’t ruin it.”
But it can. That’s the worst part. I believe it can. And he believes it can’t.
He doesn’t want it. But I do. I do. I do.
I put a spell on you, the song goes. And you’re mine.
And I want that to go on and on. Those afternoons with Francis and the boys. But it never lasts. You take that one afternoon and hold it close, through all the shitty mornings making breakfast and running to catch the bus and the boss saying, “Why are you late again?” And you think of green grass, the striped towel on the ground, the way the water streamed off your son’s tanned legs. The sun. The heat. The buzzing of the bees. All of it. Over and over again.
My writing teacher said love was being able to sit together and watch the corn grow. “Can you watch the corn grow?” he asked.
My husband can sit anywhere and watch the corn grow. While I sit beside him, rife with desire.
But it is glorious. This afternoon. Creedence. The car. The water. The kids.
And I will take it, no matter what you want to call it.