“I’ve waited years to play this for you,” you said.

With your suit and tie still on from work, you walk into the bedroom, that wry look on your face when you’re trying to hide a smile, you slip a CD into the player. When I get older, losing my hair, (gone, honey) many years from now, will you still be sending me a valentine, birthday greetings and a bottle of wine? I’ve bought you a bottle of wine this birthday as I have for years now, your new favorite, Reisling, as if the lyrics had unconsciously been in my head. If I’d been out since quarter to three, would you look the door. Since you bought your store, you’ve always left at 3:30 am, sometimes quarter to four, and locked the door behind yourself. Sometimes, after you’re gone, I hear you call me. “Rochelle, Rochelle,” and I wake just before my alarm rings. When I’m sixty-four, you’ll be older too. You still see me as the fourteen year old girl who sneaked into Roches Beach Club to meet you, my locker boy. If I say the word, I could stay with you. Yes, stay with me all my days, my years. I can’t knit you a sweater by the fireside. We sold our house with the hearth and found a home with a patio. Also, I can’t knit. I could be handy mending a fuse. Oh, remember in Wavecrest when you tried to change the fust by prying it out of the wall with a screwdriver and I lied for you? “I did it,” I told the super, batting my lashes like a bimbo. Anything for you. Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four. I need you. I need you more everyday. I feed you pasta with pesto, I tell jokes, my fingernails gently rake your bare back. Doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more? You, with your green plastic watering can, tromping through the living room on the way to the baskets of impatiens and the pot of fuzzy chenille. Every summer we can rent a cottage, in the Isle of Wright if it’s not too dear. We shall scrimp and save, grandchildren on our knee, Bernie dear.

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