The One

Last week I told Kim’s sister about the only time that Kim and I had “fixed” someone up.

Against my better judgement I’d invited a friend of mine from a radio station to meet with Kim and a friend of hers.

“It’ll be fun,” Kim said.

It wasn’t.

It was painful and instructive.

Of course Kim had been right. The two people were perfect for each other.

On the other hand, they just didn’t see it.

“What do you like to do?” one would ask.

The other would answer, “I love to hang out in coffee shops.”

The first one would say, “Oh, I love to hang out in coffee shops too.”

Then they’d just look at each other uncomfortably. Neither would say, “we should hang out in a coffee shop together some time.”

It went on like that for forty-five minutes.

At one point Kim and the woman went off to the ladies room.

I sat with my friend and asked him what was wrong.

“She’s just not my type,” he said. “She’s not ‘the one.'”

He and she had agreed on every topic that had come up. They had the same likes and dislikes. They were each other’s type in every way but physically.

It turned out Kim had had a nearly identical conversation with her friend in the ladies room.

They came back. Everyone said goodnight. These two people who were lonely and so compatible went back to their separate lives and let this opportunity slip.

Kim and I drove home and compared notes. We didn’t really understand.

Kim and I weren’t each other’s physical types. With no offense intended to her former boyfriends, she tended to like men who were big and dumb looking. I tended to like women who were dark and Mediterranean.

That said, once we were together we were together. A woman would walk by and Kim would point her out saying, “she’s your type”. Not to be mean or jealous – so I wouldn’t miss her. I would do the same.

Neither of us were threatened or jealous. We just weren’t each other’s default physical type.

And yet, nobody was more beautiful, cuter, huggable, … than Kim. She was “the one.”

Actually, Kim and I didn’t believe there was only one person in the world for you. We didn’t believe in a canonical “the one”.

We believed you find someone that you mesh with, are attracted to, and fall in love with. Through that love and commitment you make them “the one.”

This summer Kim and I stood in the kitchen one morning drinking coffee and talking.

Man, I miss those talks. I miss her voice. I miss the banter. I miss the shorthand – not having to say everything. We just knew.

It’s those small things. Just hanging out in the kitchen talking and drinking coffee.

Anyway, that day she was talking about some of her girlfriends from work. They’re cute, smart, have good jobs, and they just can’t find someone nice.

“Don’t you know anyone?” she asked.

I remembered that evening twenty years before and asked, “We don’t have to be there, do we?”

“We could,” she said then saw the look on my face, “but we don’t have to.”

I suggested some names. She rejected each. Some, she acknowledged, would be perfect but no.

I looked at her and said, “thank God I’ll never have to date again.”

She smiled and said, “me too honey.”

I always assumed I’d die first. Kim’s family tends to live longer than mine. I figured she’d be the hot widow in the old age home when she was ninety.

Kim had almost married another man years before I met her. She’d dated a bunch of guys. She never said “I could have married” one of them or “I should have married” one of them. I don’t think she ever thought that.

We know people who say that all the time to their spouses. It makes me uncomfortable.

Kim is the one I married. From that moment on there are no others.

She was “the one” for me.

I’m so grateful she made me “the one” for her too.

A friend took me aside before my wedding and told me there would be a moment where I would turn to see Kim enter the church and the rest of the world would disappear. All I would see was her. It would be like a tunnel from me to her.

It was true.

From that magical moment to the day she died she was the center of my world.

She was “the one.”


Published in: on January 1, 2017 at 9:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Round Midnight

I was doing ok til everyone left.

Not that they should have stayed. They would have left at some point.

Just me and the dog and she just won’t settle down.

She keeps jumping up.

I’m no sure what she wants. I let her out. I let her in. She paces. I let her out again.

Finally, I’ve had enough. I sit down to watch TV for a while and wait til midnight. Wait til 2017.

There’s a horrible crash and the dog is running around with something in her mouth. I pull the dog treats from her mouth and see that she’s pushed two serving dishes off the buffet in order to get to the treats.

I push her out so she doesn’t cut herself.

I get a broom and a dust pan. It’s 1120. I’ve washed all of the dishes, scrubbed the pans, and now I’m sweeping up broken china.

It’s not the New Year’s Eve I imagined.

It was pretty good til everyone left. But at some point they would have left and I’d still be here. Alone in the house on New Year’s Eve or early New Year’s Day.

I saw in so many New Year’s with Kimmy.

We looked forward to another year together doing fun things, silly things, serious things – just things.

I finish sweeping up and take the bag full of broken plates out to the trash cans in the garage so the dog doesn’t hurt herself digging around in the kitchen trash can.

No sense in yelling at her. She’s moved on.

I check Facebook.

I don’t know why. But I do.

My friend Monika posts, “Another New Year’s Eve without Chuckie. I thought it would get easier, but I was wrong…”

It’s not what I want to hear. Monika is a year ahead of me with loss.

I check the page of one of Kim’s friends. She more years ahead of me and has posted a picture of herself and two friends out having a good time.

Maybe Monika and I are that many years away.

I don’t know.

I never minded not going out.

When I used to work in radio I had to go out most New Year’s Eves. It was a working night.

For so many years I’ve been happy to spend the night home with Kim and another couple.

They came over tonight. Except for the Buckeye’s loss, the night was great as always. There’s nothing like old friends.

But eventually, they were going to have to leave.

For the last twenty some years, we’d say goodnight to them, then Kim and I would go upstairs to bed.

Oh look – it’s midnight right … now.

I didn’t expect it to matter. New Year’s Eve has never really mattered to me.

I’ve been alone on New Year’s Eve before – but it was different.

This year’s alone feels alone.

I hear fireworks and gun shots and it’s now 2017.

My first date with Kim was twenty-five years ago this month. I think I was already looking forward to it on that New Year’s Eve.

This is the first New Year’s Eve in a quarter of a century where Kim is no where in my future.

I’m not real happy about that.

I’m heading up to bed.

The dog looks up at me.

“Come on,” I say to her, “Happy New Year Annabelle.”


Published in: on January 1, 2017 at 12:05 am  Leave a Comment