Wednesday, February 3, 2010

how to write a love story

Well, I don't know HOW to write a love story, but thanks to my awesome writer friend J, I had the chance to make an attempt tonight. I wrote a bit, shared a bit of that bit, and finished it up after the session. I thought I'd share the whole thing here. It's just a draft, but my writerly friends tell me that doesn't matter. we go!

We'll start with two lists...

Things Steve wants me to tell you:
1. He is very good looking.
2. He is very good at....many things.
3. This one time, he spent his whole day unloading pumpkins, in order to get me a coat. When we were poor grad students, he got his best girl a coat. With pumpkin money.
4. No, Matthew, you can not have more candy!!


Well, he got interrupted. Such is life in the Abler house today. We take our romance where we can get it, in fits and starts.

Things I want to tell you about Steve:
1. He is very good looking.
2. He is very good at....many things.
3. The pumpkin story? It's true. But there is more to that story, that I need you to know. One, I was actually wearing that coat tonight when he told me to say that. The funny thing is, he didn't know that. I don't really wear that coat often. If you could see that coat, you might understand why. It is about ten years old, and pretty tattered. The lining is ripped in several places. Putting something in the pocket is a test of faith...or an expression of a desire to gamble with your possessions as you never know where they'll land. I have other, newer, more stylish coats. I probably should get rid of it--make room in our overcrowded closets, perhaps. But of course I can't. How could I? It's the pumpkin-money coat. It reminds me of that cold day he spent harvesting all those pumpkins. The only day he ever took off his wedding ring--slipping it carefully in his pocket so that it wouldn't slip off his finger.


I could continue on, in a list. I want to do that--want to tell you all the funny, amazing things about the last almost-fifteen years. I want to do a list....but I'd never finish it. I'd never be able to express, explain, illustrate everything. How do you describe a relationship that began when you were 19? How do you capture the fact that 15 years ago, in that dorm room, and on that fateful midnight walk along the lake, and during all those fast-moving years...that back when it all began, you had absolutely no idea what you were doing? How do you express the wonder and amazement that your temperamental soul and his stubborn soul made it when you were not just navigating a relationship, but figuring out who the heck you were? How do you acknowledge how crazy it was that you didn't move apart, that you didn't break up, even when maybe you should have--an dhow damn grateful and lucky you are that you were both too stubborn--or maybe even too stupid, at times--to realize it? How do you do all that while making it clear that this is a love story, indeed, that you know you could never be half the person you are without him by your side?


I guess, you just do. Just like the love itself, you just....write it. Live it. Honor it. I know we have this story, but my memory doesn't easily write narratives. My memory is sharing snapshots. Here we are, at the lake. Here's our first apartment in Blacksburg. And that's the sound of our laughter at some silly radio show, too-early in the morning, as we zoom past Huntington, West Virginia, the sunrise in our rearview mirror, in hour 4 of our 13 hour drive home for the holidays. Here we are, making Virginia our home. And there we were, living apart for a whole year, by circumstance, not choice. Here are the joys. The laughs. The losses. The tears.The fights.The make-ups.The growing.The sharing.The learning. Here are our sons, our beautiful boys, our hearts expanding to make room for more. Here we are today, almost 15 years later, with so much history, and so much more to come. Here's to the fullness of life--a life in which we probably still don't really know what we are doing, really...but now we know we'll live it together.

Here we are, in love.


dharmagirl said...

awww, so glad you shared this! i love what you have written so far. what an amazing story:)

腰痠 said...