Sunday night Dane and I were in the car on the way from small group to eat dinner. He was pointing out how you could see the moon, a full moon, even though it wasn’t really dark, just kind of purply-blue, and kind of idly wondering what people on the other side of the world see in it, like we see the dude’s face or the rabbit.
I was listening, for real, while also visions of drastically different post-placement work/life schedules and the attendant (relatively) emaciated potential new budgets danced in my head, as they have been…basically nonstop for the past few months, and we pulled up at the light at Hebron and Josey, where the new Sprouts and the Fuzzy’s Tacos are.
For those of you who don’t live around here, or for those of you who have forgotten (as if you could), when it gets cool around this time of year, about seventy million blackbirds migrate from wherever they spend their summers and pretty much loiter noisily in Hitchcockian swarms, like, at that ONE very intersection, for whatever reason, every year.
Sometimes, growing up, I used to have this thing I called “Sunday Afternoon Sickness,” which is a pretty lame name, but it’s what I used to call it to myself and I never stopped. I think at its root it was about school. It was the thing you get where you had a whole weekend, but now it’s basically over, and you’re not sure if you really got the most out of it, but it doesn’t even matter, because you don’t have to go to school yet but you’re just about to. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You had Friday night, which was awesome, and Saturday, which was sleeping and pancakes and movies and friends, and then church, which was more friends and songs, and then a big slow meal, and then you probably have to do homework, but then it’s just kind of still. Impending… something. It has a little to do with dread, although often I even liked school, but I think it has more to do with something coming to an end, and time you can’t get back, and are you sure you really made the most of it. Because it is FOREVER until the next weekend. This has plagued me, to varying degrees, off and on my whole life.
So I was sitting there at this stoplight, looking up at the empurpling sky and the big fat moon and the restless birds that kept resituating themselves on the wires over and over, and I could kind of feel this… gloominess thing coming on. Every so often I kind of lose control of the brakes, as it were, and I can get pretty down. Sometimes for days, sometimes for a week or more. A lot of cheesy grad-school-type questions about purpose, not just like “in life” but in our lives, and how much time have I wasted, and how much time am I wasting now, doing the wrong things or not doing enough…
So I said to Dane, “Dane.”
“I’m, um. I think I’m kind of… spiraling.”
Because we are married, and because I am high maintenance, he is not altogether unfamiliar with Sunday Afternoon Sickness, or the busted-brakes periods in general.
“Talk to me,” he said.
I kind of sat there, without answering, not because I didn’t want to, but because it’s tough to make colors and shapes into words, if you will, and I had to do it carefully.
“Abbey,” he said.
“Well, I feel like it’s kind of this,” [I waved my arms around, at the sky and the moon and the birds and the chilly evening, trying to figure out how to explain it, and desperately not wanting to use the word “twilight“] “but of the day, and the week, and the year, and this part of our lives. Like all at once.” I tried poorly to explain how it has that same SAS feeling of not exactly the end of something, because something else is starting, but yeah, also an ending, (obviously not THE ending, but of a chapter), and did we do with it what we should have, because pretty soon we’ll be somewhere else and we can’t get it back.
He didn’t answer, but picked up his phone. A few seconds later this song started (listen to it all, or at least just keep it on while you read):
Because sometimes songs are a way better way to say something than just saying something, which probably no one knows better than Dane. It’s like the dude from Call + Response said: Music is the only thing that can get in your heart and your mind without your permission. I can ‘but’ my way out of any mood-lifting-type argument, but sometimes not a song.
So I was sitting there listening to it, and I kind of started smirking, because there are VERY few things that have ever succeeded in heading off one of my funks (and almost all of those have been Dane), and then at how very wonderful my husband is.
Dane looked over and apparently saw the smirk. “What?” he said.
“Nothing,” I said.
“Did you toot?” he said.
About fifteen minutes later, I finally caught enough breath from COMPLETELY cracking up to tell him that no, I didn’t*.
I married the exactly right person.
*The 100% truthful answer to this question, entirely too frequently-asked, is ALWAYS NO. In case you were wondering. And for those of you who grew up with brothers, sometimes a person smiles or giggles in the car for a reason OTHER THAN because they just tooted. Just FYI. That one’s a freebie.