Monday, November 3, 2008

Accountable to

ANNEMARIE, late 60’s. Hospital waiting room. St. Vincent’s

I knew when I met him, moment I saw him, just felt different. My great Aunt told me Anne Marie when it’s the one you know, and I never believed her but it’s true you do, least I did. Never told him, we were young, we broke up, didn’t want to scare him, or me. But I knew. My girlfriends used to say why you so calm about Phil running around with other girls, and I’d smile and say ‘because I trust’. I trust that when he’s ready and I’m ready it’ll happen. And I wasn’t threatened by those other girls. Hell he had a girlfriend when I met him. Her name was also Annemarie, Annemarie Delveccio can you imagine? First thing he says to me when I tell him my name is ‘My girlfriend’s name is Annemarie so I won’t forget it’ and I smile at him and say ‘Well so you don’t get confused you can call me Gus’. Don’t know why I picked Gus, seems a funny name to pick but I did. And we were friends for a long while, even though I knew, we we’re friends, till one day he didn’t want to be friends no more and he kissed me, said he never kissed a girl named Gus before.

We’ve been married 45 years. 2 kids, 2 boys. One’s married, no grandchildren yet. But they got time. I used to journal before I met Phil, I don’t mean to sound immodest but I have lovely penmanship. They used to teach you that real good in school. But the day I met Phil I started writing to him instead. Don’t know why I started but I did. Told him how my day was, how I was feeling. And when we we’re ready I started writing and sent them to him. When he was in the service this was very fortunate, but even after, I’d slip them in his suit pocket when he slept. Even if I was mad at him I’d write it out in a letter. Over 45 years of 365 days of letters. One for the day he proposed, our wedding day, our wedding night, when our Joey and Peter were born. Every day a letter. And we never mentioned it. And it wasn’t perfect. We fought and he picked on me, and I picked right back.

But it’s a lovely thing to have a partner in this world, someone to be accountable to , and for. The day they took him to the hospital he had one in his inside pocket. And he’s lying there on this stretcher, looking paler then I ever seen him, and he looks at me and says ‘Hey Gus I got your letter’. First time he ever mentioned them A stroke. Struck by the hand of God. Things don’t work so well, but he’s still here, thank God every day for that. So I read them to him now. You’ll know. Trust me, you’ll know.

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