Late at night (or early in the morning, if you prefer to call it that), when the house is very still and the neighbourhood is as quiet as it can be what with all the demented motorists racing down Steeles (I'm not sure where they're all going at 3 am, but they're going there fast) - I sit around and feel sorry for everyone who is not me.
When I was younger, I had a rule about dating: 3 weeks, and kiss him goodbye. It was a strict rule, and it served me well. I never had a real boyfriend; I never had a real relationship; I never had a desire for either. Instead, I met a lot of people, let a lot of boys buy me drinks, and kissed more than I should have without knowing their names. I never saw anyone exclusively, and every single one of them got the boot at that all-important 3 week line. After 3 weeks, you either get attached, or you get bored (and sometimes you get both). I couldn't decide which I abhorred more, so I aimed to avoid both. And I absolutely did, except once.
And once is all it took. Although I assured him about a month into our dalliance that I was not the marrying kind, I soon after accepted his proposal. I didn't look for him, I didn't particularly want him, I sure as hell don't deserve him, but I've hoarded him all to myself just the same. And poor you - poor everyone who doesn't have a Jason. Poor everyone who is not me.
It's been 3 months already since Jason wrote a glowing if hyperbolic post about me, and I'm just now retaliating (you'll notice that punctuality is not among my listed qualities). I think that when he sat down to write it, he ended up revealing more about himself that about his intended subject (moi).
The undeniable fact is - I am the lucky one.
Jason is the man who made me realize that love is actually a physical sensation. Because of my insomnia, we don't often share a bedtime, but we try to share a lot of bed time. Toasty under the duvet that we purchased together, between the sheets that we washed together, nestled on the bed that we assembled together, we connect, and reconnect. Sometimes we trade massages, sometimes we read aloud to each other, and I always give him a kiss on the nose before I tuck him in and wish him sweet dreams. On a bad day, it can take him up to 36 seconds to fall asleep, but those are rare. Usually, he is snoring softly before I can even turn out the light, and in the dark, I stay to watch him sleep. And while he sleeps, that's when I get the feeling. It's a constriction in my ribcage, it makes breathing a bit harder, but each laboured breath is all the sweeter because it's I love him on the inhale and He loves me on the exhale. Literally, my heart hurts to look at him. I ache over his long, dark lashes, and I know it's time to go. If I stay long enough to brood over his luscious lips (the top one is always pale, the bottom is always pink, the pair is always kissable) or any other of his body parts, I know I won't be able to stop myself from shaking him awake so that I can love and be loved all over again.
And the thing about Jason, the thing that slays me every time, is that if I did wake him up (and yes, I sometimes do), he'll just get up. To be with me. He goes in to work on 3 hours of sleep so that he can spend the darkest hours of the night at the kitchen table with me, colouring pictures of purple elephants wearing tiny hats.
He totally indulges me.
If I look sad, he turns on the Jimi Hendrix and does the "Foxy Lady" dance from Wayne's World.
When I yell "Oops!" from another room, he always comes rushing in with a rag.
When I'm ready to move again, he won't ask why or how far, he'll bring me empty boxes and some new magic markers - but not black, he knows I don't like it.
He always lets me retrieve the lint from his bellybutton. I think he secretly stores it up for me.
He refuses to believe that I smell, or could ever produce anything but "the sweetest smell in the world." Really. He also does not notice if I've gained weight, and if I jerk my leg away from his hand screaming "I need to shave!" he always runs his hand over it as if it were smooth, and tells me not to bother.
He's never looked at another woman. He has no celebrity crushes. He's only been to the strip clubs I've dragged him to, and the only boobs he looked at on those excursions were mine. He's not just loyal, he's not just faithful. He's completely blinded to anyone else. And it's crazy because women sure as hell aren't blind to him. Women flirt with him constantly, and he has no idea. He has to be told.
That being said, he's never minded when I look at another man. Most of my friends are male. He has no qualms. He humours my many crushes. He has learned confidence because he knows I'm attracted to it. But if I occasionally get into a scrape with a man I haven't already kneed myself, I know Jason will handle it for me. Though he's the most docile man I know, he's not above throwing around his very large fist to protect his Jamie.
He took out a bunch of books from the library to learn about writing style and form. Now when I present him with a new chapter from my book, he gives me actual feedback. I always thought that his encouragement was more than enough, but he always wants to do more for me.
He has this amazing laugh, and once you've done something to deserve it, you want another and another. They're addictive. They fill up your soul. He has the most adorable laugh lines around his eyes, and I know that when I see them, I've really achieved something. Those lines make my life meaningful.
He has infinite patience. I cannot even tell you how much in awe I am of this. He is so even tempered that everyone falls in love with him. He's probably the easiest person in the world to get along with. There is not one bloody thing about him that's annoying about him (which annoys the hell out of me, as a matter of course). But he really is just one of those down-deep good guys that you don't believe exist anymore until you meet Jason.
And as great as he is, he's always getting better. It's astonishing to me how much he's changed since we first met. I think about how straight-laced he was and how every day he gets a little bit closer to being bohemian like me. He's slept under the stars, felt the sweat of 10 000 people mingle with his own, he's been permanently inked, he even ate brussel sprouts without the safety net of cheese sauce for gawd's sake. He tries. He puts himself out there. He's so brave about going along with my whims. He never tells me to turn down the music or to stop drawing on the walls. He encourages me.
It has been a privilege to wake up beside him all these years. I take a tally of my faults, my quirks, my bad habits, and I have to admit that he does not love me despite these things; he loves me because of them. In 6 years of extremely intimate living, he has had exactly 2 reasons to complain:
1. 4 years ago, I bought him a sweater that was "scratchy" - it was exchanged for another.
2. 5 years ago, he grew tired of the chicken pot pie I made him for dinner. I haven't made it since. Now he says he misses it.
And that's it. That's it in 6 years. He has never, ever been mad at me. Not ever. There are things about me that annoy me, but not Jason. My voice, my awful scratchy voice that sounds like the noise a record makes when you put the needle on the wrong track, he loves it. Asks me to sing to him, even. I talk through movies and television shows constantly. Neither of us has been able to follow a plot from start to finish in years because of this. Still, he listens to me like my insipid commentary is more entertaining than this $50 million blockbuster, and he'll even put it on mute. When I'm in a 'difficult' mood, he humours me. If I don't know what I want for dinner, he will name things for half an hour straight if that's what it takes. He'll even say things like Poor Jamie, while he strokes my hair, when I myself am screaming Fuck that bitch on the inside.
In many ways, we are opposites: he is calm, kind, and level-headed. I sometimes wonder how it is that we get along, but mostly I just wonder how I'd ever get along without him. Because he's my rock. When I need a good cry, he buys me the tissues with lotion built in; when I need to be comforted, he takes me for a shower and washes my hair like I am the most fragile thing in the world and he the most tender; when I need to let off steam he fucks me like there's no tomorrow, until one or both of us collapses. He's always been there for me, but more importantly, he always will be.
It's crazy to live in such a tumultuous, crazy world and know with 100% certainty that there will always be a Jamie & Jason. We both come from broken backgrounds, neither of us has ever seen a successful marriage up close, and yet we're living it every day, even if we are making it up as we go along.
Jason is the reason why I believe in God. Jason is undeniable proof that God exists, not because he's perfect (though other more objective sources assure me he is), but because I found him. I found, in a world of 6 billion other people, the only one who was made just for me, the only one who could put up with my shit, who could adore me for my weaknesses, who could be the only family I'll ever need, and could hold me in his arms in a way that leaves no room for doubt about how much he loves me.
And he does.
And I do too.