It only takes a few hours for a memory to become rusty. Like an orange haze that speckles the surface of a nail or an old door hinge, my memory starts to fill in at the corners, and the sheen wears away if I don’t immediately write about the event I want to relive.
I just tried to write about two nights ago as though it were last night. But all inspiration completely shut down as I tried to use the word “yesterday” instead of “two nights ago.” It was a space saver more than anything, but since I didn’t write about it immediately, I have to acknowledge that some of the freshness has begun to rust, and I’ve got to capture it before it becomes opaque.
That admission aside, I’m ready to relive two nights ago, when I was fighting with Jeremy. It was an easy fight, one where I knew I was squarely in the wrong, so I didn’t dig my heels in deep. Jeremy, wanting to make a point, requested that I look at him. Still, while Jeremy’s words were fair, I insisted:
“Jeremy, I can’t hear your words when you speak in that tone!” It was an infantile deflection, but it kept me from having to address my wrongness so quickly.
Jeremy, knowing he was right and also not having to dig in too deeply, laughed a little, but not unkindly. He then proceeded to try an assortment of tones, like sampling a box of saltwater taffy, trying to find the right one.
He tried surfer dude and egotistical student, and begrudgingly, I laughed. You try to keep a straight face when “John Stossel” is asking you to look at him. We hadn’t realized that Maeby was in between us until Jeremy tried his lovably bewildered tone he uses when he reads Ron Weasley. That was the ticket, and finally I consented to look at him. Maeby also chose this particular moment to sit up straight in between us and completely block out eyelines from one another. Laughter was free and easy. Maeby stole my look.
The scuffle was over quickly as Jeremy and I were more happy than mad, and we could go back to business as usual stressing about work in the same vicinity as one another. Jeremy sprawled on the bed on his tummy while he worked. All tension dispelled, he had a little hum in his heart.
Maybe it’s because I was just at a wedding where someone sang the most beautiful rendition of the song “La Vie En Rose” but to hear Jeremy hum this little tune while he coded sent me into a romantic tizzy. First of all, he’s a very good hummer. Secondly, it was only at this wedding that I truly appreciated how darling that song was.
The lyrics are these:
Hold me close and hold me fast
This magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose
When you kiss me heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose.
When you press me to your heart
I’m in a world apart
A world where roses bloom
And when you speak, angels sing from above
Everyday words seem to turn into love songs
Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be la vie en rose.
Overtaken, I closed Jeremy’s computer for him and nestled under his arms, and asked him to hum for me. He did, the whole song, key change and all. He “held me close and held me fast.” He stroked my hair and we both forgot about our quarrels and our stress. Slowly, I recognized that rosy hue he was humming about for what it is: omnipresent. I suppose if it ever feels like it’s missing, we are just one hum-snuggle away from finding it again.
I write these things down so that the orange rust of time doesn’t overtake my lovely, lovely vie en rose.