Two years ago yesterday I married the long shot in the crowd and I believe Lochlan is still pissed about it. In fact, I'm sure of it, since he told me so this morning just as Ben walked back in through the door with the wet dog, coffees for everyone and a blueberry muffin for his hungry, sleepy bride.
I love Ben. He goes out into the rain foraging for breakfast because I forgot to buy sugar yesterday even though I promised and he likes his coffee sweet. Because we went out for dinner to a family burger joint last night to celebrate and colored on the placements and watched hockey playoffs and lingered forever so that I could order wine by the glass because it's definitely wine for one for the rest of my life. Ben, Ruth and Henry have developed some sort of need to drink chocolate milkshakes everywhere we go as if they are milkshake critics writing for the New York Times.
Maybe they will be someday.
He has had patience and he's been difficult too, but I am mostly harder to handle so we exchange passes for each other and I continue to chip away at setting up life here and he continues to work long hours and shop for boats when he isn't working, even though he knows the idea of spending a lot of time on a boat alternately terrifies me and puts me in that unpredictable position of being the one who will say we should go for it and before you know it we'll have made another impulsive decision that sets the entire collective on its proverbial ear.
Why not? It seems to be our thing.
Actually, Ben is my thing, I think. He's the perfect blend of good and evil, tattoos and clean-cut swagger. Sweet and completely obnoxious. Flashing dark eyes and kind smile. He still eats my lipgloss and fights his demons and exhibits generous quantities of patience and he keeps my feet off the ground when I spend too much time worrying about things I can't control. I think he envies my push-button courage as much as I admire his endless disparaging optimism.
It was exactly how I picture normal life would be if anything about us were normal, but since it isn't then I'll just say it's pretty damned awesome.
All these years I have known him I still only know when he's kidding by weighing the ridiculousness of his behavior against the expression on his face. We're the character twins, content to do everything the hard way when everyone else rides along on the tide of status quo and fitting in. We never have fit in, always on the fringe of the group. Always watched. Life under the microscope is mostly a forgotten hazard of breathing now and we remain protective of each other in a way that bring most people to their knees. It isn't something we can help, it's just the way it is. It's powerful. It blows my mind.
And as we sat last night with our eyes glued to the home team onscreen and our fingers clutching sticky crayons in what has to be the loudest restaurant in the city it is clear we know exactly what we're doing.
We have a plan.
And it seems to involve a lot of french fries, penalties and tic-tac-toe.