Innocence

(2/4/2017)

My husband was a farm boy.
Well, that’s not me at all.
I’m a big city girl.
He was intrigued.

I didn’t have the time.
I was like… be intrigued all you want. 
Come and hang around.
Come and watch me dance. I don’t care.
I was a dancer. He was my biggest fan.

How do you, do that? He’d ask.
Do what, I’d ask.
The things you do, he’d say.
I just … do them.
God.

You’re amazing, he’d say.
I’d say.
I could be ten times better.
I should be. Ten times better.

I was rough.
I’m still. Rough.

Things he was surprised to hear about. To know existed.
I’d heard ten times worse at the breakfast table.
As a kid.

“Why do you like to dance,” he asked.
It all goes away. You forget. Things.
The bad.
Everything’s beautiful.
Everything’s a blur.
It’s how I get my innocence, you know.
But you, well, you’re just naturally so.

I didn’t think he understood.

He replied, “You’re innocent too in that red-hot light you on fire-sprite sort of way.”
I didn’t laugh. I had a “yeah whatever” look on my face. Then I looked away.
I can still hear his laugh. He thought he was so damn hilarious.

I didn’t have much time with him.
He was my big farm boy with the heart of a 6-year-old. Sometimes.
My big teddy bear.

I was the mean one…
Because
I was the tough girl. I rode in squad cars. Everywhere.

He’d say … you know, you don’t always have to be this way!
We’d yell at each other. Sometimes.
I’d get tougher.

On his death bed, he said:
“The thing that drove me away sometimes was the thing that drove me towards you. Your passion. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he almost laughed.

I cried. 

The thing I liked about him was the thing within myself that I couldn’t always touch…
And mostly only when I spun all around.

I see it every now and then within other people. 
And for a moment, I almost lose my breath.
All the times I’ve wondered why I’d love that man…
That’s when I remember why.

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