The Second Mrs. Pennington and I were married 32 years ago today.
Love Her Madly
Musashi-Koganei (Tokyo) December, 1975. Late, late at Night
At least I think it was December. It could have been November but I don’t think so. Too early.
The room is quiet. All I can really hear are the sounds of our breathing although I’m sure there are other sounds coming from outside the room, this is Tokyo, after all. At this time of night, however, the trains have stopped running, the buses too, and traffic is very light. Tokyo, unlike New York or many other cities, actually sleeps. Life sorta stops when the trains do.
We’re snug in her futon, the covers pulled up tight around us, our bodies intertwined. It’s chilly in the room; there’s no central heat. But we’re oh-so-warm in afterglow, our faces touching. I kiss her forehead. And then…
I say, perhaps too quietly, “I think I love you.”
I wait for her response. Fearfully. This moment can mark either a beginning or an end. I so want it to be a beginning, because I mean what I’ve just said with all my heart. There it is. I’m exposed. Naked. Reciprocation or rejection. Joy or…pain.
And my heart literally leaps. It pounds. My eyes tear up. Can this be real? Is it really, really, true? I think it is.
We talk late into the night. I sense a beginning of incredible import. Life will never be the same, ever again.
In the morning I walk to the train station light-headed, full of hope, full of joy. I can’t wait for the day to end just to be with her once more.
And so it begins.
Fast-forward 23 years. Rochester, New York. November, 1998.
The moving van pulled away from the curb not five minutes ago, loaded with baby furniture, guest room furniture, her piano, a few odds and ends, those possessions she deemed worthy enough to retain. All in all, not much.
I slam the door behind her as she and her friend walk to her truck. I’m blinded by tears. A love that spanned three continents and nearly half my life is over.
And so it ends.