Soundtrack

          Every road trip I’ve taken has had a soundtrack of sorts – a certain album or  mix of songs that forever reminds me of a specific place.  As a kid it was Huey Lewis and the News and DeBarge (no joke) in Virginia, and John Cougar Mellencamp in Indiana.  Last year Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto played while we drove around Florida, and this year it was Paul Simon’s So Beautiful or So What.  Somehow I had never heard it, and the moment I did I fell in love.  So well-written, so intricate, so beautiful.  My favorite lines from the whole album are from the song Love and Hard Times.  
The bedroom breathes in clicks and clacks.
Uneven heartbeat.  Can’t relax.
But then I feel your hand in mine.
Thank God I found you in time.
Thank God I found you.
Thank God I found you.
          It’s a short story in six lines.  Amazing.  When I hear it I immediately feel the mood, picture the scene, empathize with the restless heart calmed by the hand of his love.  I’ve been there.  I’m there often, actually.  My husband’s handhold can calm me after a nightmare, make a heart palpitation from worry settle down, allow me to start the day with the warmth of my best friend’s touch.
          Marc and I had our 14th anniversary a few weeks ago.  Sadly, I was getting over a stomach bug so we celebrated with Gatorade and a rented movie.  Not exactly ideal.  But beyond the way we marked the occasion, we both agreed with complete sincerity that we love each other more today than when we promised to.  We have not lived happily ever after – an impossibility if you’re being real in your marriage – but we’ve made it through the ups and downs of these years and found ourselves as deeper, better, more understanding friends and lovers.
          When we were dating Marc and I would make each other mix tapes – yes, that’s how old I am – which is an art in and of itself.  The right combination of songs, in the right order, expressing the exact feelings you have or the mood you want to create.  We found a tape case full of them the other night and he asked which ones I’d like to save.  “All of them, thank you,” I said.   Because they mark a specific time in my life, just as the trip soundtracks do.  And the ones from Marc remind me how it felt when he first liked me, when we missed each other til it hurt, when he promised to stick with me no matter what.  Yes, I’m keeping those out-of-date relics.  Until death, or basement mold, do us part.
         In the grand scheme of things, 14 years is a smidge.  My parents have been married for forty-one years, my grandparents for sixty-six.  That’s truly an achievement.  I can’t imagine the like-the-back-of-my-hand feeling we’ll have about one another if Marc and I get to be together that long.  There will be days when I want to clock him, yes.  Days when we get mad and say things we later have to retract.  But so many years down the road, when I reach over to grab my husband’s hand, I hope I feel the same way I do today.
Thank God I found you in time
Thank God I found you
Thank God I found you.

 

 

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