My Words

The Morning Argument

I don’t want to get out of bed. The silk sheets have warmed to me, the dogs are in their beds, content. There’s nothing that says I have to get up. You turn off your alarm, sit up, stretch. Take your meds from the nightstand and go to the closet in the barest of dawn light that comes through our thick of trees this early in the morning.

   “Love you,” I say to you in the dark.

   “Love you more,” you whisper back.

I listen to you fill your water bottle and close your office door. The sounds of the start of another of our days.

I pull myself out of bed, no one to report to beyond the two dogs who want to go out. They need to pee, but also, they need to complete the first squirrel patrol and they might even get to chase a Robin. In and out we go, then to the coffee. I haven’t brushed hair or teeth, but the coffee is a priority. I know you’ll need it to get through another morning of meetings. I can hear you on the line now across the kitchen from behind your closed office door, answering questions.

When the coffee is brewed and the call has ended, I grab our two mugs from the cupboard. I pick ones that are matchy adjacent – blue thrown pottery, one with a white rabbit, one with a bearded braided Viking – and I pour yours first. It’s the easier one, just black, no sugar, no cream. I open your door with mug in hand and dogs in tow and we bring you your coffee. A quick chat in your room with gorgeous views of our forest yard and extra heat from the server equipment in the closet. We say good morning. You say you need breakfast. You love on the dogs.

As I leave, you give another “I love you.”

“I love you more,” I say back as I close the door.

I love you. I love you more. The argument we’ve had for nearly twenty years will continue throughout the day. By the time I climb back into the silk sheets that you don’t love but tolerate because you love me, we’ll probably have said it close to fifty times. It’s a reminder in each direction that this thing we have is still there, and neither of us is running away yet.

Such a shaky word that is; yet. I’m not going anywhere, and I don’t worry you are either. Not to any real degree. But human hearts are nothing if not vulnerable, and ours are no different. That vulnerability comes up through the rest of our day with repeated questions: Do you love me? Are you certain that you love me? Do you love me forever? Questions asked and reassurances given, back and forth, a piece of comfort in our normal day. Do you love me? I love you. I love you more.


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