Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Theme Songs

Rick and I have been kidnapped by a theme song. This sometimes happens when a couple takes a lot of road trips in the company of an iPod. The shuffle gets into some weird groove and you find yourselves listening to a dozen consecutive Sugarland songs. Then you start with the humming, and suddenly you’ve got your heads out the window, belting "there’s gotta be something mooore!" We're even more spirited when the song’s narrative traces the path of our relationship, and since this particular tune captures our zeitgeist perfectly, when it plays, we bring it.

Monday, hard to wake up
Fill my coffee cup, I'm out the door
Yeah, the freeway's
standing still today
It's gonna make me late, and that's for sure
I'm running out of gas and out of time
Never gonna make it there by nine

Rick always hits replay at least once, and I love that sappy part of him. He was a country music objector when we met, but now he’s as sappy as I am. Next month, we’ll have been together ten years, and one of his favorite things to say to me is that forever won’t be long enough. I agree; I only wish I’d met him younger.

So as I headed out for my sister’s river house last Friday, I cued up Sugarland.

There's gotta be something more
Gotta be more than this
I need a little less hard time
I need a little more bliss
I'm gonna take my chances
Taking a chance I might
Find what I'm looking for
There's gotta be something more

Our own something more will start when our investment property in Rehoboth finally sells—or the lottery hits—and we strike out for beaches unknown.Ultimately what we’re after is pretty simple, and there’s so much of it here at the river. A little boat. A red and yellow hammock. Spot and croaker caught by our friend and cooked on the grill. And at night, Rick sets his tripod out on the pier, hoping for a replay of the lightning storms that cracked across the sky when we stayed last year. No matter where we end up, he and I, I can’t imagine needing anything more than this.

Five years and there's no doubt
That I'm burnt out, I've had enough
So now boss man, here's my two weeks
I'll make it short and sweet, so listen up
I could work my life away, but why?
I got things to do before I die

Eating pancakes on the screened porch this Sunday morning, I look over my shoulder at the tall trees lining the shore, throwing soft shadows against the grass, and point it out. “That’s my favorite view – this time of the morning the light is so perfect, and everything looks so green and fresh.” Rick looks distracted, doesn’t seem to notice. Then a couple of houses down, a little boy in a big life vest and water shoes runs out toward those tall trees, yelling “I’m coming, Daddy!” Rick smiles and says “There’s that kid again. He’s really cute. Looks like it's just him and his dad this weekend, down here by themselves.”

Dad sends the boy back to the house for something, and the kid takes off like kids do, flat-out running, arms flapping. Rick watches longer than I do and laughs, says “So he runs back to the house, gets distracted by some bug or something, stomps on it a few times, then keeps on running.” He shakes his head and grins like that’s the funniest thing he’s seen in ages.

And wham. Out of nowhere, I'm plunged into a sadness so deep it's as if I’m made of tears. I turn my head so Rick won’t notice, while I try to sort it out. It drags me down and I struggle, afraid to feel it; where’s the bottom? My throat closes up and I will myself to relax, like you’d do if you were drowning, arms flailing in deep water. And I realize it’s about that kid. And about us, and the hard choices you make when you start running out of time. And that sometimes, you just have to trust you’re choosing right.

Some believe in destiny, and some believe in fate
I believe that happiness is something we create
You best believe that I'm not gonna wait
'Cause there's gotta be something more

And then Rick stands up and grabs his camera. He points behind me and says “Is that the view you like so much?” and sets out to capture it for me. As I watch him stalk the dangerous linden trees along the riverbank for just the right angle, the sadness starts to seep away, and I notice Rick’s t-shirt, from a trip we took last year: a couple of turtles sitting at a bar, with the caption

Best Buddies

And we are, indeed. Kinda sappy, huh?

Morning at the River


Mary and Sean said...

what a wonderful story...I love how you feel that instant that you don't need any more than you have. A nice reminder for me since I get a little stuck in ruts at times. in any case, I am now following you. I live in Japan and we have fabulous diving over here. I'm not certified yet, but hoping your adventures in the water will inspire me...

Nancy www.ShoreDiveLife.com said...

Hi Mary and welcome! Japan is definitely on the list - have heard tons about the wonderful diving there. Did I see on Travel Blog Exchange that you are in Okinawa?

Jason said...

This is a great site that you have here. I have a sports blog myself and I would like to exchange links with you. Let me know if this is possible. Jason

Guillermo - CEO Localyte.com said...
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