My Juliet Moment

This morning, my dear, sweet, handsome, love-of-my-life husband and I were arguing. We exchanged some harsh words (mostly on my account…but, for the record, he started it)…(yes, I know, I sound like a preschooler…sorry…just sharing what really happened). Anyway, in the midst of said argument, I was sectioning and flat-iron curling my hair as he, being ready for work, proceeded down the stairs with a quick goodbye over his shoulder.

Then, I remembered a question that I needed to ask him.

I left the confines of my bathroom to reach the landing over the staircase while holding the uncurled section of dark hair in my fingers, and I looked at him just as his hand reached to turn the handle on the door.

(For reference, the staircase looks like this:)

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He turned back to look at me, still holding the door knob, and asked, “Have we kissed yet?”

In my frustration (and half-joking), I quipped, “No. We don’t do that anymore.”

As I stood among the railing slats, my (gorgeous) husband released the cold door handle and began to take each step, one at a time, climbing up to reach me.

I leaned over the railing to meet his gaze.

His lips felt warm and smooth, like a distant memory, one I wished to live and relive again and again.

He whispered something softly near my cheek, kissed me again, and headed down the steps once more off to the business of his day while I stood, still holding the uncurled hair in my hand, basking in the romance of the moment.

Thankfully, we put our argument to rest. (It was silly, anyway…as most of them are.)

And, I am hopeful that this experience won’t follow Shakespeare’s immortal love story exactly. I don’t want to die anytime soon.

🙂

I Dreamed a Dream (six months ago)

No, not like Fantine.  Though I did (obviously, like the Academy) find Anne Hathaway’s rendition powerful and moving.

I’m talking about the REM sleep kind of dream.  You know, like the ones you have at night when you are (hopefully) sleeping?  Well, this one was actually during the morning, and I actually thought about fictionalizing the dream itself because it was so bizarre (…like I think of myself as a peaceful type of person, and this dream was really crazy…) that I didn’t want to admit all day yesterday that this is what played out when my subconscious took over for a few minutes (and the dream literally occurred in minutes, between my 5 a.m. alarm and my 6 a.m. alarm).  Read on (but only if you are brave…or if you want to take a guess at interpretation…or if you would like to know how crazy I felt all day yesterday).

We were selling our house, and as such, we had several realtors coming to visit.  Many of them rode together in nice, black cars (think newer Lincoln Town Cars) and approached our home in groups.  All were women of varied hair color, mostly middle-aged, and professionally dressed.  One insulted my work as a “stay-at-home mother” by snickering that I would have other items to attend to during a given day that I wouldn’t be able to drop everything and help them with whatever they needed to sell this house.

The scene changed to a lavishly set dining room (mine?) with a large banquet, complete with some level of servants (and an elevator?), where a beautiful woman about my age with dark hair and gentle eyes wearing a white gown (think Fairy Godmother…or maybe the wedding dress from Enchanted) looks at me, and I know what these realtor women are–witches–and what I must do–kill them.

Let me insert here that I have never killed anything on purpose (except roaches, ants, and a few spiders…and there was that baby lizard one time…I stepped on his tail on the way in from high school classes one day who moved when I stepped, and it died…and that experience brought me to tears because I couldn’t believe I had killed it).  And, I don’t remember ever killing anyone or anything before in a dream, but I digress….

So, I know somehow that to kill these witches, I must force their hands to hold their own throats (I feel like I’m acting in a low-budget mini-series at this point…and I haven’t watched television for years), which will cause some type of chemical reaction (the skin on skin contact at that location produces smoke, or steam, or something smokey/steamy) and ends their lives (what?).  Fairy Godmother Lady is there supporting me, but I must do the deeds.

I begin by hurling large, heavy, (expensive) China dishes toward their throats, but my aim is sadly off target.  Then, I switch to good, old-fashioned, hand-to-hand combat, where I place my hand on one’s neck and as she reaches for my hand to have me release the grip, I switch her hand to be under mine and on her own throat while holding it in place by replacing my hand.

Is this gruesome for anyone else?

Top it off with echoes of these lovely images pulsating through my brain all day yesterday and you will know how happy my Monday began.

 

Waiting for 10 o’clock

I have this rule. We call it the “10 o’clock rule” around our house.

Clock 10:00

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And, I am watching the clock, even as I type, for the numbers to fly onward toward this blessed time.

You see, we don’t have sugar–like hard-core, solid, sugar–until after 10 a.m.

Don’t ask me when the rule began.  I have no idea.  Somehow, I do recall that I read something to the effect of “if you eat chocolate when you crave it between 10 am-4 pm, you will be healthier.”  The 10 o’clock rule was then born for chocolate, and eventually defined to cover Skittles, Starbursts, soda, ice cream, and other varied sugary items.

Doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, and other such items are not included in the 10 o’clock rule.

And, I do have some banana bread on the counter.  I could get up, slice some, heat it in the microwave for a few seconds, slather it with butter and enjoy.

But the Skittles in my backpack that sit atop my computer desk area are so much closer…(29 more minutes)…and my body is probably still full from the delicious bowl of oatmeal with fresh blueberries and cream I had for breakfast.

(Too bad breakfast was several hours ago….)

Twenty-eight minutes.  Maybe I’ll work on my love songs playlist for our anniversary.  I’ve been enjoying that.

And I could start editing the novel I wrote last November.  I’ve got hours of work on that project.  But, of course, I would need some Skittles to even open the document.

And, it’s still twenty-seven minutes until 10 o’clock.

Maybe I should change time zones.

🙂

The Piano Lesson

A small house adjacent to the campus music building housed a baby-grand piano and a salt-and-pepper-greying, bright and cheerful piano teacher.  I knocked timidly on the door, waiting for someone to open, holler, or invite.  (Maybe what I was really looking for was a sign.)   A few moments passed, and I repeated the knock, a little harder, mimicking the pounding of a nervous heart in my chest.

I had grown up around instruments.  I received my first 3/4 size violin at the tender age of eight, with accompanying private lessons.  I knew how to tell a half-rest from a quarter, a whole note from a sixteenth, and how to count in time with the measure.  But the only person who taught me piano–ever–was my father (in what little “spare” time he had between building a demanding business and community, family, and religious activities).  I had even taken a half-hour or hour voice lesson during each semester in college.  But no piano.

Still, I promised my mother I would take at least one semester of piano.  And, graduation was right around the corner.

My heart took another leap as a daisy-yellow VW Bug (vintage) pulled into the small driveway and under the carport adjacent to the little house.

The piano teacher bounced out, pulled reading glasses from a chain off her chest, and asked, “Are you my 3:30?”

“Yes.”  The word squeaked out like a babbling child.

“Well, let’s have in, then.”  She chuckled at her self-made rhyme, and I followed her to the front step where she unlocked the studio and ushered me inside the brick-red door and toward the piano bench.

“Did you bring something to play for me?”

I only nodded and pulled an old, green hymn book, the one I pulled off its usual place atop my piano earlier that morning.  I turned to a familiar hymn, one I had practiced many an hour just to say I could play a hymn.  I rested my fingers (and untrimmed fingernails) atop the black and white pallet, ready to paint some music for a woman I barely knew.

Painting–now that’s something I knew how to do.  I was even getting a minor in art.  But I didn’t have a brush or smock or canvas to speak of here.

I got through one verse, only making minor mistakes.  As I lifted my hands from the keys, she pulled her reading glasses to the end of her nose so she could look me in the eye over the lenses.  She paused and then offered, “Good.  But you’re making this really difficult on yourself.  You don’t have to shift your fingers so much.  Just find a fingering that works, and shift less.”

Okay.  But how?

She pulled the hymn book toward her and thumbed through until she found, “Be Still, My Soul.”

“Let’s try this,” she offered.

“I can’t play this.”

“Sure you can.  Try.”

I placed my fingers on the opening notes with my best, brave-girl effort.  It was still a sad attempt.

“Okay, try this way,” she said as she offered new fingerings and let me know when to lift and press on the pedal.

She continued to coach me through the notes until our half-hour lesson finished, with her committing me to cut my nails and practice, practice, practice.

I promised.

I leaned into the door to exit, waved a goodbye, and saw what must have been her 4:00 approaching.


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I felt the exuberance of accomplishment, of learning something new, of honing skills that had been lying deep inside myself for years, untapped, untouched.

And, I was excited for next Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

Same studio, new lesson.