The sky threatened for hours. Light, then dark. Light, then dark. Light, then an expanse of dull gray, puffed up and floating above the big lake and our little town. The rain, mostly unpredictable sprinkles, came and went. Came and went. But we welcomed the day, and we were happy.
This was yesterday. Our anniversary. A dozen years.
We celebrated as we do everything else. In low-key fashion. Quietly going about our business. Happy being together doing nothing. Just taking time to let the world spin us round. Let the program run us through The Matrix. Let whatever this is just be.
And we lived large.
I made breakfast—fried farm-fresh eggs, bacon, and toast. We took TWO, that’s right, TWO two-mile walks around the river, along the lake, through our neighborhood. We made a trip to Meijer for a toilet flapper and to splurge on the top-shelf sushi for lunch. Made a trip to Biggby. Took a four-mile bike ride. Napped. Did our own things for an hour or two—I wrote, then read a new book. She watched TV, then relaxed on our porch. We ate a binge-worthy dinner of chicken wings and smoked pork, courtesy of my brother-in-law. We even had a guy come over and give us a quote for some home repairs. Why? Because, that’s how we roll!
All kidding aside, it was fun. Twelve-years of marriage fun. We coasted into the evening with a few drinks, a couple rounds of Ticket to Ride, then settled into the couch for an anniversary favorite—Superbad.
I proposed to her during that movie. Can you believe it? And she still said yes.
I think it’s because she’s better than me. She knew I needed some work. A little help. Sure, there’s love and all. But a lot of the time we’re together, I can’t help thinking I’m along for the ride. She knows where we’re going. She knows what’s next. She has patience. Listens. Understands.
I saw it yesterday. On our bike ride. The sprinkles were getting bigger. Drops getting heavier. We were three miles into it. And there was a butterfly. A Monarch, struggling on the sidewalk.
“What are you doing, butterfly? Come on, get up. You can fly in the rain.”
And it did. Up and alongside her. Looping around in the air, as if dodging rain drops. Following her, until she led us past the biggest maple on Second Avenue.
It landed on the trunk and was still.
“Bye, butterfly!” she said.
And I knew this would last. Us in the rain. Twelve years into it. Me, following her. Waiting for the next moment to remember.