We lay in the bed. You wanted to make love, but I couldn't perform. "Don't worry," you said. "Maybe tomorrow." I remember the twinkle in your eyes and the inflections in your voice. You were like a teenager -- full of lust and desire. I was pleased that you would want me so. I wanted so much to please you back, but my medications hindered me.
Quiet times are us sitting at my kitchen table eating a meal. We both love to eat. You brag on my meat loaf and mashed potatoes asking for the recipe. "It was my grandmother's," I say emphasizing how important that is. It is as if I am sharing a piece of her. You smile as you write it down. "I will make your Memaw proud," you say. Like some collector, you gather recipes to never cook them. You leave that up to me.
After supper, we lay on the floor in my den as the television drones with a deck of cards. I like card games; they remind me of summers at summer camp with us campers gathered around in a circle on a hard wooden floor playing poker. They make me remember the sound of a broom on wet pavement, the smell of the Appalachian forest, how hard it was to lift myself into the top bunk after a busy day. I used to sign the wooden walls with my signature with a thousand other campers, a mark of, "I was here in the summer of '84." I wonder what you would write if you were with me then.
I remember you most when you haven't been there. On my bike ride tonight through downtown that I knew you'd love. Wind blowing in your hair on the downhill stretch as you would laugh with glee. The stop in the park for a cigarette and a drink. I think of you at home sleeping in my bed curled up with my cherub, Maggie. You let me go even though you will worry and only sleep well when I get home. You understand that this is my favorite time of the day. You give me some space.
You speak of beaches lately. Bathtub warm waters. White sand. Reading books on hotel patios. I promise you I am going to take you soon. As soon as the weather cools and the crowds go home. Sand between your toes and revealing two pieces are in your future. There is a glimmer in your eyes as you talk about seafood platters and crabbing in the bay. You will call and talk about it for minutes on end as if to remind me to never forget. I promised and I will live up to that promise. Memories made together are the most lasting of all. I will take you to the beach soon. Maybe you can sign your name on the wooden boardwalk, "Rosa was here in '07." I will sign, "and her faithful companion," for generations to see.