To my beautiful wife:
Here we are in our last days of being just you and me. In a few short weeks, we will be three. I am excited to meet our baby and to embark on this next stage of life with you. I am also a little nervous and a little sad that our time as a team of two is ending. It’s bittersweet.
I remember the first day I met you after several weeks of chatting online. We were both university students. You had recently discovered your interest in women and when you saw that my online profile stated that I was interested in both women and men, you sought me out. Little did you know that I was still in the closet, and that I had only expressed an interest in women because I was new to social media and didn’t understand the implications of my selections. When prompted about my interests I had thought, Of course I want to be friends with both women and men! Oh, that naivety. But then we met. In person. In Geology class. You were turning in your homework and I timed my approach to the front of the room so that we coincided. I looked at you and you smiled. Sharply, shyly. You looked away and quickly shuffled out of the room.
I invited you to the campus Queer-Straight Alliance meeting. You were there as queer. I was an ally.
“Hi,” I said. I introduced myself and explained who I was.
“Hey,” you said (trying to play it cool). “I know who you are.”
We sat on the floor and you hugged your knees to your chest. I sprawled on the dirty carpet, half paying attention to the meeting, half looking at your gorgeous curling hair, your soft blue eyes, your awkward cuteness, your many string bracelets.
You and I became fast friends. We did everything together. We spent time at the river, we organized demonstrations for women’s rights, we marched in the streets over the unjust outcome of California’s gay marriage ban. We laughed. We ate. We drank wine. I came out as a lesbian.
We moved in together as friends, as roommates. Early mornings we would walk to the fish pond, drink coffee and discuss books. We recited Richard Brautigan poems. “Your Catfish Friend” was a favorite.
If I were to live my life
in catfish forms
in scaffolds of skin and whiskers
at the bottom of a pond
and you were to come by
when the moon was shining
down into my dark home
and stand there at the edge
of my affection
and think, “It’s beautiful
here by this pond. I wish
somebody loved me,”
I’d love you and be your catfish
friend and drive such lonely
thoughts from your mind
and suddenly you would be
and ask yourself, “I wonder
if there are any catfish
in this pond? It seems like
a perfect place for them.”
Then one night we became close. Very close. We held one another and found a new version of the love we always had for each other. The sky cracked and rain began to fall.
“Come on,” I said, dragging you outside. We basked in the summer rain together, smiles spreading across our dripping faces. “This is a good omen.”
Days turned into months, months turned into years. I am going to marry this woman, I thought. I bought a ring.
We took a trip to New York City. At the time, we were living out west. I remember being nervous about how I was going to get the ring onto the plane. I didn’t want to put it in my checked luggage, but I was also unsure whether airport security would search my carry-on luggage or whether it would trigger the metal detector. The last thing I wanted to do was propose in an airport! I sewed a little pouch into the pocket of my coat and placed the ring inside. I remember breathing a huge sigh of relief when it made it through!
We got engaged in Central Park on a little bridge. I had never seen you smile so brightly. Your radiance stood in stark contrast to the gray New York sky. It was early spring and the trees were just beginning to bud. You adorned your hair with little pink flowers. I took photo after photo. I could not get enough of you.
We were married in 2012 in a beautiful field in Vermont. It was just you and me. It was perfect.
We recited an e.e. cummings poem at our wedding:
if everything happens that can’t be done
(and anything’s righter
the stupidest teacher will almost guess
(with a run
around we go yes)
there’s nothing as something as one
one hasn’t a why or because or although
(and buds know better
one’s anything old being everything new
(with a what
around we come who)
one’s everyanything so
so world is a leaf so a tree is a bough
(and birds sing sweeter
so here is away and so your is a my
(with a down
around again fly)
forever was never till now
now i love you and you love me
(and books are shuter
and deep in the high that does nothing but fall
(with a shout
around we go all)
there’s somebody calling who’s we
we’re anything brighter than even the sun
(we’re everything greater
we’re everyanything more than believe
(with a spin
alive we’re alive)
we’re wonderful one times one
These past five years together have been a journey through laughter, love, home buying, daytrips, bonfires, hikes and swims, activism, snuggles, but most of all, joy. We spend our evenings sipping red wine and dancing in the kitchen, the aroma of cast-iron cooking in the air. We ski in the winter, snow and sharp air biting our faces. We come home and soak together in the warm tub, caressing one another, inhaling the sweet smell of each other’s skin.
Soon there will be another person to love. A new sweet smell. New soft skin. I cannot wait to meet her, to hold her, to nurse her. I cannot wait to share the love we have with her. She will be my second love.
You are my first. You are my first great love. I will always think back on these past eight years with fondness. I hope to cherish these few remaining days – days where it’s still just you and me. Because one day, before we know it, in the blink of an eye, there will be three of us.
I am looking forward to that day. I am eager for it to arrive. But in these final precious weeks, I want to focus on you.
I want to love you more than you’ve ever been loved before.