Neil Gaiman reading his poem, “The Day the Saucers Came.” This piece is a great example with much more exciting words, of what senior year felt like. A lot of hope, a lot of heartache. So much waiting that ultimately ended with one message. A phone number.
When we finally both came to a place where we decided enough was enough and we’d finished dancing around each other and the things we thought we wanted or needed in our lives, he sent me his phone number.
He is the only man who has ever been able to cause my heart to break and burst at the same time. He makes me laugh until I cry, which is so much better than making me cry until I have nothing to do but laugh at myself for the joke I’ve made of my life – where, at the point he sent me his phone number, I was at.
When I saw his number, I laughed. I laughed until I cried, and I didn’t stop crying for two days. Every day I looked at that message again. It hadn’t changed, not a digit, not a feeling. Nothing had changed except the time that had been lost, and the increased desire to make amends for that.
I laughed because that number had been burned in the back of my mind since he had graced me with it years before. I’d dialed that number so many times I could have done it in my sleep. I carried it in every phone I ever had, under false names and under the real name – a blatant disregard and clear, concise “fuck you” to my husband.
I have no regrets about my divorce, and my only regret about my first marriage was the groom. I accept my sins and regard them as necessary evils for a better cause. True love is the noblest of causes.
Anyway, I never kept it a secret, my adoration for my tall, tree-like friend. Strong and silent, sheltering me and giving me shade from the glare of the world. Rough around the edges, a muss of hair I loved to let my fingers get lost in. My giving tree, my wise willow.
I’m off on a tangent again, sorry. I really, truly adore my husband. Not the aforementioned one, obviously. But this one – WOW. Yeah, I’ve got it bad. Sorry for the sap, but please enjoy the poem. Gaiman says it all – all the other things I ignored, all the other things going on in the world, right outside my window, all reduced to faraway ideas because there was only one reason to wake, to breathe, to eat, to sleep, to live – and it was him.
I find, now, that it hasn’t changed, not really. It has only settled, neatly, into the moldings of my life’s compartments. I love him in this way: We are not each other’s reasons – we are just incomplete in our purposes for this world without each other.