Friday, January 14, 2011

When people ask me how long Andy and I have been married.

When people ask me how long Andy and I have been married, sometimes I want to say, "What do you mean how long? Well, always... always, of course. We've always been married. We've always been together." I want to say this not because I want it to be true, but because it feels true. Of course, I do have memories of before Andy came along, but they were part of another lifetime, weren't they? I wasn't really born into this one until recently, right? I can hardly imagine my life not being his, his life not being mine. I can hardly imagine that we used to say goodbye at the end of the day, that we used to not be family, that we used to have only telephone calls. Surely there was never a time at which we did not exist to each other. We've always known each other... surely... or, if we haven't, it was at least in a different life, not the one we're living now, or, if it was, I must be an old woman by now, with white hair, looking back on a childhood that I can only recall in fragments and fleeting images.

The truth is, though, that six years ago, Andy didn't exist to me and I didn't exist to him and it's not quite a year and three months that we've been married. So, when people ask me how long we've been married, I say, "A little over a year," but I might as well say one month, or one day, or negative three ounces, for as much connection as I feel to that length of time. It would be better if, in answering that question, I could communicate something real about our relationship, something that expresses how much a part of each other we feel. In that case I would say, "Always. We've always been married."