It’s Valentine’s Day and Rob is busy rearranging in the latest round of purge and conquer. He likes to listen to music while he works. Loudly. That’s why the stereo speakers in the truck are Bose and he can’t wait until winter is over and he can reclaim it from me.*
He loaded the cd player with a collection of compilation discs and we spent the afternoon going about our business and shouting to each other when necessary.
As I was preparing dinner, “the song” came on. The Everlast song that pops up and reminds me of Will. But I don’t take it as a sign anymore. It’s just a song that had meaning once but has no relevance anymore. It was an interesting song to come up on Valentine’s and nothing more.
A couple of songs later however, Mazzy Star’s Fade Into You began to play. Will chose that song for our first dance at our wedding reception. It’s been a long, long time since I have thought about it, let alone heard it.
“Okay, okay,” I thought. “Happy Valentine’s to you too.”
On Sunday I had to zip over to The Park early because I had volunteered to man the table our writing foundation had at the Winter Art’s Fair. Rob continued his restructuring by attacking the bookcases. We have a lot of books between us.** When I got home, he’d accomplished a lot and in his typical meticulous fashion had even inspected and dusted every single book and shelf.
“I found this in one of your books,” he said as he handed me a folded sheet of notebook paper. “It looks like a letter you wrote a long time ago to your friend, Fran, but you never mailed it.
It was dated February 16th, and as soon as I read the first lines, I knew exactly what year:
Just a quick note to let you know that Will and I are engaged. He asked me (on one knee) last night. Even though we’d been talking about it for a while, I was still surprised.
Now the songs made sense. The year was 1999. This year marks a decade. A significant passage of time in the whole anniversary scheme of things.
Sometimes I really do need neon flashing signs.
*I drive the Avalanche in the winter. It’s the safer vehicle.
**And several duplicates because, ironically, both Will and Shelley were huge Stephen King fans.