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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
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1:42 a.m. - 2013-05-30
Baby, you can drive my car.

Let's see, what comes next on LA's spinning wheel o' topics?

If I stick with the usual run it should be a smushy one about Mick. Something I could write without blowing smoke up anyone's ass (including my own). He's had some time off recently and it's been used productively. Lord almighty do I loathe relationship growing pains! With my 25 years with the ex and Mick's 12 years with his he and I certainly know how to be married. What we're still figuring out is how to be married to each other. Our earlier marriages were compromise marriages. We started young. Mick was 24 when he walked the aisle the first time. Me? I was what, 19? Shit, Wolf will be 19 in three years and I still keep an eye on him while he uses the stove. Not a chance this kid would be allowed to marry at such a tender age. And yet there I was blithely hooking up with my dippy ex who was an elder statesman of 22. What the hell did we know? By the time we figured out our marriage was a dumb mistake we were 14 years in, had a house full of furniture, a half-grown kid, and another one on the way. We had so much stuff! So many tangled cords of blood and money and had invested our entire adult lives to being married and it felt impossible to chuck it in. We did, of course. But only after we spent another decade biting big bloody chunks out of each other trying to figure out how to get loose from the complicated dopey painful mess we'd made. Mick had had half the time and none of the kids and no real estate, but he was vested too. So we'd all muddled along and tried to put a good face on things, but our marriages were far from ideal.

This time both of us, Mick and I, we want to get it right. Clean, you know? Honest and sustaining without the bullshit and the half-truths that made up the bulk of our earlier marriages. True enough we're finishing the job of raising Wolf together. Mick who'd never imagined he'd ever have kids had to learn to be a dad in a big, big hurry. He's done a fine job and gets better every day. I have zero qualms about going off this weekend and leaving them alone. My guys love and respect each other and no longer need me in the middle to be the buffer and referee. But mostly what Mick and I have is US. Our relationship is the product of this union. This time we're old enough not to settle. But we are also wise enough to not expect the impossible.

To accomplish this takes work. Which is exactly what we've been doing. But it ain't easy.

In the dim dark year of 1977 my most excellent high school boyfriend Richard and I installed a new exhaust on his Mustang. The whole thing from engine block to tailpipe. The 'Stang up on ramps and chocked solid in Richard's sloping driveway we were lying beneath the car and broke loose crusty bolts and scraped off gooey remnants of gaskets. Rusty metal flakes rained down, chunks of carbon gunk, damn, it was nasty. And taking the old exhaust off was the easy part. It didn't matter much if everything came off whole, it was garbage. But putting the new pipes on required patience and finesse. There was an unexpected delicacy to it. To get all three holes- block, gasket and pipe to line up exactly and to thread in the bolts and ratchet them down so everything fit snug and there were no leaks, oy. And do it the whole length of the car, ouch. Our arms were shaking, on our backs in the greasy stenchy dark of the underside of that beat-to-shit Mustang, talking across the width of the car with the transmission between us and trying to keep everything aligned and level when we couldn't even see each other...uh huh. We did it though.

My marriage to Mick is installing that new exhaust over and over and over again. It's hard. It stinks sometimes. All the gross build-up from the old parts of our lives sometimes comes down in painful rusty flakes and showers of crud. We cry and storm and occasionally want to drop our end and to hell with leaving the other guy holding everything up. Who gives a flying fuck?

We do.

Why? Because. Because when the work is done and we slide out into the clean fresh air and the warm afternoon sun and we wipe our greasy hands on rags and beat the filth from our clothes and settle into the car that is our home and key over the ignition and...VROOM! The rumble and roar of that dual-carb 289 V-8 is magic. It sounds all kinds of fine. It's the soundtrack of being free to go wherever we want to go.

And we go together.


Metaphorically yours, ~LA



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