Saturday, November 24, 2007

Being alive...

Someone to hold you too close,
Someone to hurt you too deep,
Someone to sit in your chair,
To ruin your sleep.

Someone to need you too much,
Someone to know you too well,
Someone to pull you up short
And put you through hell.

Someone you have to let in,
Someone whose feelings you spare,
Someone who, like it or not,
Will want you to share
A little, a lot.

Someone to crowd you with love,
Someone to force you to care,
Someone to make you come through,
Who'll always be there,
As frightened as you
Of being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive.

Somebody, hold me too close,
Somebody, hurt me too deep,
Somebody, sit in my chair
And ruin my sleep
And make me aware
Of being alive,
Being alive.

Somebody, need me too much,
Somebody, know me too well,
Somebody, pull me up short
And put me through hell
And give me support
For being alive,
Make me alive.

Make me confused,
Mock me with praise,
Let me be used,
Vary my days.
But alone is alone, not alive.

Somebody, crowd me with love,
Somebody, force me to care,
Somebody, make me come through,
I'll always be there,
As frightened as you,
To help us survive
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive!

(lyrics from the musical Company)

In high school I belonged to the Columbia tape club. You ordered stuff every month from their little booklet? (High school for me was a time of babysitting and lawn-mowing money. I had no car, so my money was disposable income burning a dainty hole in my pocket. I was the queen of earrings, and I belonged to a paperback book club and a music club. I went to the movies almost every weekend. Oh, if I could write a letter to my 16 year old self...)

Anyways. So one of the albums that I listened to ad naseum my senior year of high school was Barbara Streisand's Broadway Album. I haven't seen most of the musicals she sings from, but the songs became my soundtrack. The words, the music, became a part of my memory. This song has always reminded me of what a relationship is:

Someone to crowd you with love,
Someone to force you to care,
Someone to make you come through,
Who'll always be there,
As frightened as you
Of being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive.

Mr. More than Ten Years Ago (different from Mr. Ten Years Ago) and I were very aware of how strangely matched we were. And so I coined a phrase: "Scared is sacred with two of the letter switched." We wouldn't be so scared if this wasn't something sacred.

One week from today marks six months to the day of my first date with Max. I had no idea that in those six months we would go through so much: two car accidents, one surgery, many colds, time together, time apart. The twinkly stage, where women at work said, "I thought so" when I told them I was dating someone. The not-so-twinkly stage(s), when it seemed all I could do was worry about his safety, his health, his well-being. The times in between fights, when I wondered, what is this I'm doing with my life?? And yet, when we said goodbye Wednesday morning, before I went off to work, we just beheld each other with our eyes. And it was good.

Some people figure out in six months that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. In my twenties, I dated two men who by or before the fourth date said I love you and by or before the fourth month we were planning "the rest of our lives." (One of those relationships only lasted three months.)

Those relationships seem like "playing house" to me now. And this one is "real." But the future? I have no idea. Which also seems more real. We don't know. Which is fine. You might think that as a woman who will be 36 on Wednesday that my biological clock would be ticking. Well, if it is, it's being kind to not pressure me. Because I won't be pressured.

Somebody, hold me too close,
Somebody, hurt me too deep,
Somebody, sit in my chair
And ruin my sleep
And make me aware
Of being alive,
Being alive.

I smile at the lyric "ruin my sleep." There have been so many times that Max has come home late and called me and I have feigned that I was awake, that he had NOT woken me up. Because I wanted so much to see him or just hear his voice on the telephone, so I let all the lights blaze in my apartment so that he wouldn't think I'd gone to bed when he pulled up in front of the house. (Because he lives on the FIRST floor.) (And I live on the THIRD floor.)

Yes. I am aware of being alive. The ups and the downs. The ins and the outs. Would I sacrifice the rest of my life for this man? I don't know. For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health? I don't have to think about that today, or tomorrow. I am grateful. In some ways, I think I have lived my life backwards--in my twenties I wanted so much to be married. I guess having lived that screech, that fingers on the blackboard of a relationship so wrong, why did we stay together those last six months, I am in no rush to make promises in this one. I just want to enjoy him sitting in my chair, most days.

**********

And I feel the need to give this an aside: I have learned, in this relationship, that dating is NOT the be all end all. My married friends are quick to tell me that marriage is HARDER than dating. Having my family here (we had a wonderful Thanksgiving) I realize how rich my life is--and that it still would be, were he not in it.

**********

But he IS in it, so I'll gladly greet him when he returns to da Burgh tomorrow.

2 comments:

Badger said...

Happy anniversary, even if he doesn't know it is one! :)

I think marriage and dating are BOTH hard, just in different ways. It's always hard when you have to think about someone besides yourself. Or at least, it is for me. But I'm kind of self-absorbed.

elena jane said...

it's a fine line, the sacred and scared. great analogy.
i hope max remembers, but he probably won't ;-)
do you think sometimes we just know....?