As I sit here staring at the pictures of my wife I realize that I have bitten off way more than I can chew in my attempt to describe in clumsy words my beloved.
She is a nerd. She is stubborn and obtuse. She is generous and co-operative. Forgiveness comes easily to her. She is one of the hardest-working people I have ever known. She can keep a secret. Even when we are broke, which is often, I’m sorry to say, she doesn’t worry about money. She is sexy as all hell. She farts when she’s sleepy. She doesn’t understand why anyone is mean. She likes to see others succeed. She’s too hard on herself. She’s laughs at kitty pictures on the internet. She’s a know-it-all. She’s been known to fall asleep mid-sentence, which can sound like this:
ME: Do you want to go get breakfast tomorrow?
SHE: That would be nice.
ME: Maybe we’ll go to Magnolia or Kirby Lane.
SHE: They have good places to allow bats to fly freely through glass, so watch out for them.
SHE: Crap – I fell asleep.
We just got back from Dallas yesterday where she was recording voices for cartoons. I sat in the recording studio watching her yell and cry and emote so expertly. When I watch her, I can barely contain my pride and I cannot conceal my tears. Why should I?
On a road trip this year, our 1986 VW Bus broke down in the middle of nowhere. I had all of my tools and manuals strewn everywhere as I tried to figure out what the problems was. I was freaked out, as is my high-strung nature. She actually said the following: “Good! This will give me a chance to catch up on Twitter.” I said, “You realize we are stranded in a twenty-three-year-old VW?” She looked at me as if I were insane: “Oh, we’ll be fine.” A good friend helped us and we were back on the road, sitting in a natural hot springs that very night in the mountains of Colorado.
Many years ago I was hired to work as the art director/production designer on a movie. The producer told me to meet with the costume designer and figure out how we would co-ordinate the whole look for the movie. I was to meet the costume designer at her apartment which was only a few miles from my house. From the first moment I saw her, I knew I would marry her. I just had to. I don’t remember much about the meeting except that even though my mouth was working out the details of the movie, my heart and mind were rejoicing, having found my love at last.
We both had a lot of screwing up left to do in our lives. She had more dumb-ass boyfriends to audition (and discard) and I had more bad decisions of my own with whom I had to sleep and awake. We would see each other out and about on commercial shoots. I would look at her and say to myself, “Yep. It’s her alright. But not yet.” We would run into each other at restaurants and coffee shops, each of us on dates. And I would think, “Close. So close. But not now.”
Years of this went by. Then I decided I was ready and I hoped she was as well. I called her. She made me supper: a hamburger patty on instant rice with green beans. We got fake tattoos. A few days later, she came by to visit me. I played a Stan Ridgway song for her and she never left my house again. I didn’t ask her to marry me, we never discussed a wedding, we just did it. We were being burned alive by fate.
Our first years of marriage were difficult, though. Were were still young in so many ways. We were so fucking poor.
When I watch her sleep at night, I get so angry at life. I know that at some point, this will all end. Time will take us both. At some point everything is dust and all of my thoughts and love for her will pass into the universe. Maybe we get to live again in some other world. I don’t know. Maybe love is some kind of permanent energy. I sure as hell hope so.
Text and images © Andrew Auten – All Rights Reserved.