Friday, March 30, 2007

661 days, 11 hours, 39 minutes, 36 seconds

She knew she didn't want a marriage like her parents had. They didn't fight, didn't cheat on each other. They would have called this a good marriage. But she wanted more. And it took being away from home for fifteen years before she started looking beyond that, looking at three friends in particular who had long term relationships that she could envision for herself. Then, twenty years ago, her mother had a stroke, and she and her lover flew to California. All her father wanted to do was sit by her mother's bedside. On the plane home, she asked her then-lover-later-husband if he envisioned himself ever caring about her that much.

661 days, 20 hours, 45 minutes, 17 seconds

So she gets in bed and finds him lying on his back, snoring, and leaving her barely room to scrunch against the wall. She's obviously not able to sleep this way. She gets up, showers, tests her blood again: 133. With love, all things are possible.

661 days, 21 hours, 22 minutes, 41 seconds

Twelve years ago a friend and his wife sat on her sofa and talked of their daughter's upcoming wedding. She forgets the exact context now, probably she was questioning if this was the match made in heaven. And she answered that she'd prefer her daughter marry and divorce than not to marry, how much easier it was for a divorced woman to get jobs, and to attract other men. Something like that.

And, probably that same day, these parents talked of how they thought they had a solid marriage, but they'd never really had to put it to the test.

The daughter married that May. The father died in July. After that she lost touch.

661 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes, 1 seconds

Can you think of any better time than your anniversary to get your head shot up with poison? Insurance will pay for the doctor, not the poison. Which is more than they did a year ago. She likes to tell people she married him for his apartment and his medical insurance.

661 days, 21 hours, 46 minutes, 40 seconds

169. Her blood should be under 140. She knew she was pushing the envelope tonight. Anyway, while she's waiting up she decides to write to S. Happy anniversary.

661 days, 22 hours, 26 minutes, 31.7 seconds

She can't go to bed yet. She had chocolate mousse for dinner (actually they called it chocolate mini-mousse) and the longer she stays up the lower her blood count will be. It's that simple.

661 days, 23 hours, 0 minutes, 18.6 seconds

Don't ever get married, it will spoil your relationship, she told her closest friend thirty years ago. And S. repeated this comment at the wedding party she and her husband threw for them. Then two years ago, March 30th, midnight, the stroke of their anniversary, she was on the phone with S., the first time they'd spoken in years. S. was in the middle of a divorce. She'd lost all track of time.

661 days, 23 hours, 14 minutes, 3 seconds

He announces he's dying an Ambien death, and crawls into bed. He didn't get the watch at midnight, he tells her, it was closer to two in the morning. Did they really stay up that late? They were idiots and they stayed up that late.

She recalls, years ago, staying with friends, watching in silence as his wife would go to bed hours before he did. She vowed that could never happen to her. Yet here she is, still typing madly. Three feet behind her, in bed, he turns on the radio. It will cover the noise of her typing. It will help him sleep.

661 days, 23 hours, 34 minutes, 15 seconds

Midnight. The witching hour. She gives him i-pod speakers to replace the ones which broke last year. Which she also gave him. For another anniversary. Tonight he's taking Ambien, wanting the full night's sleep he was robbed of a few nights ago. What he calls her animal noises kept him awake. Any minute now and she'll turn into a pumpkin.

662 days, 0 hours, 5 minutes, 52 seconds

They weren't together more than three or four months. They went out to dinner at a little restaurant in the Village. There was a woman reading cards there, and they decided what the hell. She predicted they'd enjoy their time together, but the relationship wouldn't last more than three years. That was when they decided to make the most of their time together.