Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Burn Patterns

We find a bench in full sun that overlooks the park. The letters of some dead guy's name press into my back. We read shoulder to shoulder in our quiet way.

A chiffon breeze skips across blades of grass and up my pant leg, cool against my naked calf. It's precisely this mingling of hot and cold that led me outdoors. The wind whips up, and my wife's hair fans, its tendrils tickling my cheek. I breathe her in, clean and fragrant, the perfume I sleep to. The wind wanes, and I kiss her cheek to inhale her once more.

A little girl in a red dress dances to rustling leaves, her legs new and unsure beneath her. Her chestnut hair bunches in curls atop her head and she squeals at her own brilliance. She totters towards a man with outstretched arms. Just as he's about to gobble her up, she retreats, laughing.

"I feel old," says my wife.

She's not talking about the little girl.

College kids are wandering. Not one by one, but in bunches. Their skin smooth as river rocks. Their smiles blissful.

"We're not old," I say. "Not just yet."

We're old enough to have wisdom and wonder in near equal parts. And I wouldn't trade with those kids. Not for their young bones. Or for the discoveries that await them.

So many memories are stacked atop my skin, like glowing embers. They hiss and crackle and spit orange fireworks that fall to earth as ash. They've seared their patterns in my flesh.

My wife has them too. And they're beautiful. And she's beautiful.

We trace each other's lines with trembling fingers until the patterns merge.

And I would not trade.


  1. That's so sweet and romantic. Like the orange fireworks. Your wife is a lucky young gal.

  2. I really enjoy reading your romantic side, Hunter. And I love to feel the love you have for your wife in your writing. I am happy to see that other couples me and my husband's age (34 and 35 - married 16 years) are as happy and blissful as we are.

    Keep that going, Hunter....and keep up the writing.

  3. something about spending your life with one person and wholly committing to them makes me want to join a convent.
    ...that is, until i read this post (and all the others you recommended to me which were a delight, 'place for regrets' may be my favourite while life after scooby made me piss my pants).

    i envy your knowledge, experience and amiable life-they make me want to skip to where you are. i suppose the journey is the best part.

  4. Awesome as always. And I agree, I would not trade now with my early twenties for anything. I thought I knew everything and I knew nothing. Isn't that the same for everyone? :) Happy new year Sir.

  5. So beautiful Hunter. My favourite writing of yours is when you speak of your wife and your love. Entrancing!

  6. You may need to remind her that getting older is SO much better than the alternative. And also how you hope (I'm sure) that she continues this trend (along with you) for a long, long time. :-)

  7. Beautiful. Great intro. This post almost makes me happy to be hitting 30 this/next year. Too often people focus on the downside of things like getting older (another example is being single) but there are so many benefits too.
    Happy New Year mate, I'll be with you through 2010.

  8. Hi, Robyn. Thanks! Happy New Year.

    Hi, S&C. I have to get my lollipop up soon! (That sounds vaguely dirty.)

    Hi, Amber. Right back at you. It's a fortunate place to be.

    Hi, p.ham. I'm glad you liked the recommendations. And, yes, you can't get anywhere without the journey. The good parts and the bad.

    Hi, VA. I don't know if that's the same for everyone or not. Interesting question. Happy New Year!

    Hi, Tina. Thanks. She likes it too. And it's cheaper than flowers. ;)

    Hi, Charlene. Amen. We have the conversation from time-to-time.

    Hi, Jimmy. Thanks. I can say pretty confidently that my 30's have been better than my 20's. Besides, these days 30 is still pretty young. Right back at you on the New Year.

  9. I've always kind of looked forward to getting older. I figure I get better looking every year.

    On a serious note, that was beautiful. You always have a way of tapping into my inner sap, Hunter.

    Happy New Year.

  10. Hunter, beautifully written as always. I'm starting to question whether you can do no wrong...hehe

    And I agree with the other do have quite a sensitive, romantic side that is evoked in your writing. Don't ever change!

    Happy New Year! :)

  11. here's a lot more beautiful memories to you and your wife in the years to come. happy new year!

  12. Hi, OWO. I feel exactly the same way. ;) Happy New Year!

    Hi, Lou. I do plenty of wrong. A quick perusal of the blog is evidence of that. Thanks for the kind words. Happy New Year!

    Hi, Sarah. Right back at you. Hope 2010 is good to you.

  13. That was indeed beautiful and romantic. Your eloquence is touching.

  14. That was romantic. Way to go Hunter! You'll probably be getting some 'romantic' 'memory making' tonight. Oh yeah. haha.

    Happy New Year.

  15. Clean lines. Very nice. I could learn a lot from you, so I'll be back.

  16. This was so beautiful. I like the tracing of lines until they merge.

  17. Had to go outside to see for myself, and your'e right the breeze most definitely has a chiffon feel to it. I love it! A rarity nowadays - love like that, consider yourselves truly blessed.

  18. Hi, Eva. Thanks!

    Hi, Erin. Oh yeah is right. ;)

    Hi, Techno. Thanks for popping by and commenting.

    Hi, Lindsay. Thank you. I like the idea better than the execution on that line. But I guess that's how blog writing goes...

    Hi, AWS. Put me to the test, huh? Glad you agree. And, yes, we are very lucky.

  19. Hello there, I just stumbled across your blog and I love it; what a great read, and such a romantic post! You write beautifully. Wishing you a happy new year, I'll definitely be visting your blog again soon :)

  20. Hi, Claire. Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate you commenting. Happy New Year to you too.

  21. This is what happiness is. Pure and Simple.

  22. I don't think I've visited you before and I know you've posted since this piece, but this was simply beautiful.

  23. Hi, mysterg. Agreed. I feel very fortunate for our quiet moments.

    Hi, Matthew. Thanks for popping by and commenting. Glad you enjoyed this one.