Thursday, July 15, 2010

He was posed just like this on those watermelons.

My senior year of high school, I got re-allergic to the cold. It happened the weekend I went to Eau Claire to visit my sister. Picked up some black boots at Saver's (which added to the frequency with which people called me Olive Oyl - although hers are brown, I must say we did share a resemblance) and a red and white polka dotted dress, knee length. I came home from that visit and noticed that my fingers were swelling up; my legs were covered in a rash. I thought maybe it was the clothes (and yet did not want to take off the boots.) A few days later I realized it was there to stay. The frozen food section left me covered in spots; a lick of ice cream swelled my tongue so much I slurred like a drunk. I sat in the high school library looking for colleges to attend and my fingers were so swollen I couldn't even type. I looked at the thermostat: 77 degrees. I knew I was in trouble. I closed the page of in-state schools and looked for a book instead. I grabbed a giant hardback off the shelf and flipped it open. There was a painting of a guy lying on top of a pile of watermelons in a truck. He laid there all contorted, long black braid resting on top of a cut-open melon. Cacti and dunes around the highway. This is it!, I thought. I will go to the desert.
.
Then I heard that he was definitely headed north: this certain Matthew J Goodfella had decided on Eau Claire. He was in a ska band and had the reflexes of a jungle cat. A year earlier his sister had made him write to me and my sister made me write him back; soon I was rushing to my friend Lu's house after school to check my email (and eat mountains of ice cream - she didn't mind my slurred speech.) We would lean over the monitor together and giggle about the clever thing he had said and try to think of the proper aloof response. In the end I couldn't do it. I tossed the application and packed my bags to go north. Headed to college with a hibiscus, glitter eyeshadow, a euchre deck, a bucket seat from an S-10 Tahoe, and a coat that wasn't near warm enough.
.
We got married a few years later; me in a poofy dress, he in a black suit. I remember being startled when it came time for the vows, having never paid particular attention to the words before. Standing at the altar is not the first time to listen. I looked at him with his little calla lily boutonniere. He took my hand.
.
A few moments later, he had scooped me over his shoulder and was carrying me down the aisle, a ring on my finger; tulle everywhere, like a spill of white cotton candy. And now seven years have passed and my heart still leaps in my ribs when it's almost time for him to get off work. I look forward all day to nightfall, when we sit on the porch looking at the fireflies. I remember how they hovered above the grass at the reception, sparkling little twinkle lights on the outskirts of the tent. Now they drift above the cornfields, the summer heat almost palpable around them. The babies are asleep upstairs, two little blond heads with combed hair and brushed teeth, bare toes. One more on the way; my belly a round little watermelon. He reaches his hand to feel his son move.
.
My heart quakes.
.
So glad I didn't head south; so glad that my curiosity over that sideburned boy was greater than my dislike of red spots. So glad we're a pair, a set. So glad that wherever we head next, we get to go together. Happy anniversary, my love. I adore you; I'll gladly take your hand and go where you're headed.
.
I think when I uploaded this photo I just wanted to say how Loli likes to lay on the cool cement floor in this heat. I had nothing much to say. (Well that's never quite true, is it? Saudi Arabian houses, chickens taking dust baths, mannequins, Stonehenge, short men in knife fights, salami sandwiches with mustard; something always makes a person think of something, right?) So the disconnect between the picture and the words remains and that's just fine I suppose. Things remind me of him. I like that.
.
Tamayo's watermelon painting is better anyway.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jenny - this is so sweet! I'm glad that you stayed North and married our Matt too! Beautiful sentiments and really appropriate today especially because it's Matt's grandparents' 56th anniversary!

Jenn

Anonymous said...

Great behind the scenes story Jenny!!! I knew he was smitten immediately. Happy July 15th daughter-in-law! We love the pair of you! Betsy

The Goodfellas said...

oh, did you? tell me how, tell me how :)

Aunt B said...

You do have a way with words, Jenny... what a beautiful picture of love you paint! :) Happy, happy anniversary, you two! :)

missy said...

jenny, i feel like this is so scandalous... how did i not know that things had so much to do with a boy???? i feel like a terrible friend! ;)
AND! did you hide the number of emails you got and sent from me?? haha.
either way, i'm glad God gave you him. that matt's a fine fellow.
and i would also love to hear betsy's response.

Kelli said...

This is so sweet, Jenny. Our God writes the perfect love stories. <3

The Goodfellas said...

ha! not nearly as scandalous as you not telling me about *J V B* if you know what i mean. but come on, you really didn't know???? seriously?
ps. explain "AND! did you hide the number of emails you got and sent from me?? haha." i don't understand the sentence...

Kelli said...

JVB?!

The Goodfellas said...

JVB! i believe he was a boxer....?

The Goodfellas said...

;)

Kelli said...

Was JVB that boy she dated for about a minute? :)

missy said...

i KNEW you were going to bring that up! haha.
and my sentence meant... with regards to just how many emails you were sending to and receiving from matt, i believe i was unaware.

The Goodfellas said...

no no no no no!!!! you don't remember hearing about him???? at lunch? i think even rose (no offense rose for calling you "even rose", in case you're reading this, but we didn't know each other well) knew about him. not like i was much of a talker but i think he was common knowledge. right? oh yes.

missy said...

i mean... i knew there was emailing, but i just can't believe that i didn't know the extent of it all! i didn't know!!! i am a terrible friend! haha

Anonymous said...

paris hilton sex tape
lad only in white thong panties, Megan poses on all fours and looks simply amazing. She’s just desirable as well in the other photos. The images make you want to pound her from behind. Hard. megan fox naked
megan fox naked , megan fox naked pic
http://plone.org/author/jblackjms , http://profiles.tigweb.org/peterblack294
I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Spike TV Scream Awards. It bills itself as “honoring the best in fantasy, sci-fi, comics, and horror,” but that’s a load of crap because the winners are decided based on internet votes. And everyone knows the internet has great taste. megan fox fully naked
megan fox naked , megan fox naked nude
http://peterblack294.typepad.com/blog/2010/08/megan-fox-naked.html , http://meganfoxnaked.pbworks.com/
Until now, I had sort of tolerated Megan Fox and her unwarranted fame. Yes, she’s hot, but she’s been in ONE movie that people have seen– a movie with a horrible script whose plot had more giant, gaping holes than a Texas whorehouse and required about as much acting talent. Yet, somehow, she’s managed to become moderately famous. megan fox naked photos
megan fox naked videos , megan fox naked video
http://mrfox394.vox.com/library/post/megan-fox-naked.html , http://paris-hilton-sex-tape.com/2010/08/15/megan-fox-naked
megan fox naked photos k I should be a famous celebrity,' – but I definitely feel it's premature. I mean, I was in one movie that people have seen."36 Fox has appeared on the covers of many magazines. In 2007, she appeared in Maxim;37 in 2008, the list had grown to include Cosmo Girl,3839 Paw Print,40 Jack (ITALY),41 FHM (UK),42 and GQ.4344 In 2009, the list includes, USA Weekend,45 Esquire,46 Empire,47 Maxim,48 GQ (UK),49 Entertainment Weekly50 and ELLE.9 Fox was ranked #17 on interview magazines Hollywood faces to watch "Future Stars of Tomorrow", ranked #16 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2008 list, named #68 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006" supplement, ranked #18 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2007 list, she was ranked #1 on Moviefone's 'The 25 Hottest Actors Under 25' in 2008, and was ranked #2 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2009 list in 2009. FHM readers voted her the "Sexiest Woman in

Bethany said...

Love this post... love to read your writings.
Congrats on your life of love :)