I am about to go pick up Keith. In less than an hour, the whole feel of this place will change, for two brief weeks it will be dynamic, unpredictable. Then I will go back to my solitary waiting.
There cannot be many luxuries greater than sitting quietly while the one that loves you best comes slowly and inevitably closer. The peace of this has sunk deep into my bones these last few days; I didn't mind waiting longer for him; to prolong the anticipation of meeting was no hardship for me.
But I will tell you straight, I am terrified of the cost of these luxuries. In the moment I meet him, the hourglass will be upended and the sand will spill out so much more quickly than it is now. I am looking down the barrel of the gun, to when he leaves again and all that I have put up and marked in my mind will cause only pain.
I remember now, that this is how it felt as the date of his deployment grew nearer and nearer. I remember again the feeling of almost panic, of wondering how it is humanly possible to reach that point, to let go, to turn and walk away.
But it was reached and I did all those things. I turned my back to him, got in the car, and drove away. I didn't look back because I was afraid I would crash the car or kill some hapless private; my driving abilities were, at that moment, worse than usual and I could not afford to take my eyes off the road.
So I know that if I managed it once before, I will be able to do so again. I will be able to drive him to the airport, follow him to the terminal gate and watch him walk away from me. And then, thank God, I will not have to return to an empty house. I will drive for over two hours north, to my brother's house, and pick up my Mom and Dad. When they are with me, I will be able to take down all the Christmas decorations and put the house back in order, in time for them to leave.
And then the house, and I, will return to our muffled and quiescent waiting; the hourglass will turn again and I will be immersed in the complicated calculations of dividing time up into smaller and smaller pieces.
But I have no more time to process this; it's time now to go pick him up.
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