they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Friday, September 09, 2005

On love and living.

Once we were neighbors. I was the snobby one and he was the gentleman. He would sit at his window and wave at me when I got home from class or from the gym or from Wal-mart and he always had the nicest smile. It was the kind of smile that made me stand at attention. I knew there was something special about the man behind the smile and so I became increasingly less snobbish and I started to realize that when he waved as I walked by his window, he was waving at me and not at some figment of my imagination beautiful blonde who I believed to be right behind me on the stairs. And so one day, I waved back.

Once he was my classmate. I was the journalism student who had to take economics to complete course requirements and to be able to graduate. I was the one who attended class religiously, scribbling down notes and graphs — none of which I would understand weeks later when I opened my notebook in the library to study. He was the one who understood econ. He got it and he was smart and funny and I would dress up to go to class just hoping he would show up. He didn’t come often. He didn’t have to. But, when he did show up, he’d slip into the seat beside me and I’d have on extra vanilla body splash and a sweater I’d borrowed from a friend because I thought it looked good with my eyes and that maybe, the sweater would catch his attention and he would notice how pretty I looked. I was the one who studied fifteen hours for each exam and still barely passed. He was the one who read my scribbled notes over once and passed with flying colors. He was also my study partner.

Once he was my boyfriend. He was the one who wrote me the nicest cards I’d ever received. He was the one that I talked to for hours each day and each night and he was the one who I grew with. I was the one who was young and immature, all the while certain that he was what I wanted. He was the one who first knew we should get married. He told me one night while it was snowing and we were standing in it and it was beautiful and fresh and it was really cold outside but, I didn’t feel the chill. I was warm, from the margaritas and his embrace and from the glow of my future, staring me in the face.

Once he was my fiancé. He was the one who came home with me every weekend to plan our wedding and to dream — about where we wanted to live and what we wanted to do, about where we wanted to go to church and how many people we wanted to befriend. I was the one who was a mess. I was anxious and depressed and sometimes, I didn’t know how to go on. But, I knew that he loved me. He told me he did and I believed him and I knew that if he loved me and God loved me, then I was worth something and so, I got better. He was the one who held me. Tightly, he held on through fits of rage and tears and confusion and bitterness and through times when I was so mentally spent, I didn’t know myself.

He is my husband. He is my support and my backbone and my reminder that God is real and that I am loved. He is my sanctuary and my shelter and my best friend. He is a grill master and has perfected what he calls, “the smell that makes neighbors jealous.” He is a leader and a seeker and a finder and he is an inspiration to me and to our friends and I am the one learning. And, I love him.


  • At 6:32 PM, Blogger Jill Draper said…

    Jess, what an incredibly lovely tribute to you both. I'm all verklempt. Wish you were here so I could give you a big hug and thank you for being Nick's soul mate.


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