why i call her the wife

The mister is off building a robot thunderdome with the downstairs neighbor, so I called the wife and invited her and our boys over for dinner. While she was here her phone rang and the ringtone was Weezer’s “My Best Friend.”

Me: sharp intake of breath. “That’s MY ringtone. You have ANOTHER best friend???”

Salome: “I am totally busted. It’s my default ringtone.”


We had BBQ chicken from a place on 24th Street with arugula and avocado salad and broccolini and brown rice. I made a compote out of leftover strawberries and we had that with cream for dessert. Salome and I got a little tipsy on limoncello from Lucca’s deli.

This is what my life is like now. Yesterday I was weeding our little front flowerbed and Colin the carpenter stopped by and we chatted about the shelf he is making for Claire’s yarn, because Claire took up crochet after Rose taught her how. Then Kathy came by on her way to pick up Julia and Martha from the math circle Vali runs in the place on the corner. It’s been difficult to blog these past few months because happiness writes white and I have never been so happy before in my life.

I showed the wife pictures of the house I grew up in.

“But it’s beautiful,” she said.

“I see that now. It’s a jewel of mid-century modern, and it was full of teak and Hans Wegner originals. My mother had flawless taste.”

“I pictured you growing up in a place with no light! Like, a dungeon!”

“But that’s what it felt like. I look at it now and all I can think about is how miserable I was back then. When I was a teenager I could not put together a simple declarative sentence about my internal state to save my life.”

“You were a bit like that when I met you.”

One of my catchphrases nowadays is that closure is bullshit. Scar tissue is what it is. I still feel the cold where the broken bones in my ankle fused back together. But the other California cliche, validation, is not so much bullshit. Having a third party acknowledge the you that has spent the last umpty years tunneling out from underneath all your own garbage: well, that’s not nothing, as we say. It’s a thing, as we say.

It’s even possible I will forgive her for her lies about the ringtone.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.