Predictability

Published April 6, 2012 by April Fox

I tell him sometimes-you’re so predictable, and to someone who lives inside this armour of ambiguity, thrives on spontaneity, can’t wrap his head around making plans without plenty of time to plan to plan to make them, it might sound like an insult, but it’s not. There are a million things he does that aren’t expected: a fistful of flowers picked from a parking lot tree, delivered after a late night trip to the grocery for donuts and almond milk; the key in the lock far earlier than expected-this just happened, I couldn’t have scripted it better; concert tickets for my idol, waiting afterward outside the tour bus till I’m hugging Elvis and every time he messes up he says “remember?” and I do, and it’s okay.

But still, he is predictable: the key in the lock will be followed by the sound of his footsteps on the hardwood floors, through the living room, the music room, into the kitchen; he will search the fridge for dinner, leftover pasta or some chicken wrapped in plastic, waiting to be heated. Glasses on the space heater below the window, plate left on the counter, and he will be here in the doorway, adjusting to the dark, asking if I’m awake, smiling when I answer. Email, Facebook, his face like a specter in the glow of the screen, talking about music, work, things I’m not awake enough to know about tomorrow. And then he’ll be here, wrapped around me like the truth he told me years ago, that we were made on purpose, like this, for each other. I know exactly where his hand will fall, exactly how his breathing feels, the shift of the muscles in the shoulder that he injured as a child, trying to get comfortable without disturbing me. I know the last thing I will hear from him before I sleep, and the first thing that he’ll say when he wakes up; I know the half-smile when he’s practicing, the way he looks up and to the left as he wanders through the notes; I know his arms, reaching out so I can roll up his sleeves, the half-impatient look he gets, waiting for me to get out of the car so he can lock the door, the silly Cockney way that he says “What?” when I look at him too long.

I just told him that I’m writing about him being predictable, and he gave me the look I knew he would… he’s pulling up an episode of a show he thinks I need to see, settling in next to me with dinner and a glass of water-always in the Pink Floyd glass he likes-and in the morning, there’s no question, we’ll still be here like forever.

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