This morning, for whatever reason, my little eyeballs crawled open at about the same time the sun came up. I lay in the bed for a while and listened to the rain as it fell softly on the window, then finally decided that it was time to start my day, whether or not I wanted to. I staggered into the kitchen and started my first cup of coffee then poured myself into my favorite chair – the one at my desk. As the heating pad warmed against my sore back and the computer reluctantly came to life the power went out. I suppose that somewhere a light pole got knocked over. For a few minutes it flicked like a lethargic strobe light and finally went off all together. Finally it came back on and I started my morning over again. The coffee brewed, the heating pad warmed, the computer booted up, and I turned on the stereo. The memories began to pour out of the speakers.
Lee Anne Rimes began to sing, “How Do I Live Without You?” When my ex-wife first got married we went to movies frequently. One of the first we went to see was Con-Air. The thing I remember the most was the song. There at the end when Nicholas Cage finally got to see his family. It is a beautiful song. I remember singing it to her. Those days were happy ones. No kids, not worries, and no infidelity yet. That question rang in my ears. “How do I live without you?” She was the first gal I ever dated. I was 26 when we got married. She was 19. When I met her I didn’t realize how young she was. She looked older. After we had dated for a few weeks she told me that she was only 18. I was stunned. I thought she was at least 21. She had been home schooled and had graduated early and was in college. I remember that when we got married my car insurance almost tripled because she was considered to be an inexperienced driver.
Her dad had tried to talk me out of marrying her. Not because I was bad for her, but because he said she would be bad for me. I didn’t believe him. Those were the days before reality reached out and slapped me. I believed anything was possible. I thought the power of love would conquer all and we would be happy forever. If I had only know then what I know now. All my friends told me not to marry her. I still have a friend who teases me about it. It was like buying first class accommodations on the Titanic. It was great for a while but we all wound up getting wet.
I sat and drank my coffee and listened to the poetry of the song. I closed my eyes and I could feel her next to me again. I could smell her hair. I could feel the darkness of the theater surrounding us. Then the words pulled me back to reality. How do I live without you? Well the answer has been a struggle -sometimes an uphill fight and sometimes a terrifying downhill tumble. But how do I live without you? Pretty well. Thank you very much.