“Have you seen the Lion King?”
“Of course I’ve seen the Lion King!”
One of the most memorable Disney movies that I can recall. It’s as if the scene of Simba dropping into the grass on the cliff at night, the flowers breezing away into the night sky is actually stored on original cels in the back of my mind, ready and waiting to play at a moment’s notice. But it’s not just the visuals that have stuck with me; there’s something about the film, that story that I’ve always carried, and it’s announced within the first five minutes.
The circle of life.
“Why do you have so many different socks?! Why are there no pairs!”
Like all relationships, there were silly things that annoyed me to no end. Trying to fold laundry and somehow having 17 different socks that had no partners. A laugh, a grab. No; I confiscated those socks and immediately bought three eight-pack bags of black Hanes socks from Target to ensure that no sock would ever be pairless again. I’m silly, it doesn’t matter and it really doesn’t provide any significant change or life improvement. But every occasion after that, when getting ready to start the day he would smile pulling on his matching socks.
“I need you to make this.”
“I don’t know if I can..”
“You’ll do it.”
“But; I’m not sure–”
“I need it, so you’ll figure it out.”
Too often have I caught myself giving up before I’ve even tried. I always picture trying at something that I don’t think I can do is a waste of time; why not have someone more capable tackle this task? Why me?
“Because I trust you. I know you can do it.”
Like listening to someone tell you repeatedly, ‘You can’t do it,’ hearing someone praise you, to tell you how much they believe in you, in your endeavors and skills–there’s only so much time that can pass hearing that before you get to thinking, ‘If they think I’m that amazing, even if I’m not right now, I will make sure that someday I become that person so I don’t disappoint them.’ And so I did. Whether I can or can’t is never a question; the only question now is, ‘How much time do I have?’
“I need you to drop off these envelopes at the post office. We’re also out of toilet paper and milk. And the cat needs more litter.”
“Don’t forget the laundry, and take out the trash. You have a meeting at 7, so make sure you eat dinner first. The leftovers are in the fridge, and there’s some rice in the cooker. 3 minutes in the microwave should be good.”
Errands. Mundane little things. Things to keep track of and on top of in a timely manner. Not once was there ever a complaint about the ridiculous lists rattled off over meals, or shouting from the shower, or as there was a kiss goodbye on the way to work. The lists given were half the tasks, important tasks, but tasks entrusted to one to fulfill. And they always were, without question.
“What do you think? We could put the TV here.. and maybe my desk, over here.”
“In front of the window?”
“Hmm.. okay; maybe over here?”
There’s something about picturing what daily life would be like under a new roof, but that picture develops itself tenfold when it’s being pieced together by two people. Having someone dance around you, filling in your blind spots and genuinely looking out for your safety, your future and your utmost happiness makes everything seem that much easier. To trust that you won’t be blindsided is a truly wonderful thing. Like spotting an anthill on the property, or taking note of the uneven tiling in the kitchen. Two sets of eyes are more efficient than one.
The more time you spend watching out for someone, the less you spend on yourself. You learn that it’s more enjoyable to watch the person you love; you genuinely care for them and enjoy keeping them safe. Having them return home to you every day, to reconcile in their warmth is akin to waves lapping at a warm shoreline. That in and of itself is reward enough to continue nurturing them, wanting them to grow, to soar, to rise above all else and to be right there by their side amongst it all.
“How do we… Uhhh–”
“You’ve gotta reach inside it and–”
“You pull the neck out, and then I can–”
“WHY IS THE NECK IN THE BODY!?”
Household tasks are nothing more than a chore, especially living alone. You get home from a long day at work and the last thing you want to think about is cooking or cleaning. Even if you have time on the weekend, you’ve just spent your whole week working; you want to rest! Even so, real life is not all cat naps and pizza. Maybe some pizza.
Cooking and cleaning with someone can be something so much more. The communication and tag team efforts somehow bring a sense of fun to everything. Even Christmas dinner with a turkey that neither has ever attempted before can be a wild adventure exploring new things, including animal parts we wished we’d never touched (or smelled.)
There’s an inexplicable comfort that comes from thinking about the one you love. Whether you’re wrapped up in each others’ arms, finding yourself apart or left only with those memories, the feeling is the same. It becomes a kind of sanctuary far beyond what the human eye can perceive deep within yourself, a place no other can venture or disturb you in your time of remembrance. A place of such serene tranquility that is with you no matter where you go.. That is an amazing gift of love.
A lot of time is spent wondering, ‘What if?’ But it’s just that; time spent. Time squandered lost in a void of thoughts about a reality that simply doesn’t exist. Not here, at least. Time that should be spent rebuilding, planning, and moving forward. Much like water and air do, I mustn’t sit idle.