For the next week maybe, middle of one week to the middle of the next, little changed; even that nice, quiet tune behind everything else stayed put(2)! This is not to say that everything was boring and dull. I don’t think that will ever be possible, with Bill always nearby. He and I had been married less than 2 weeks, but it seemed so amazing to have him, to sleep next to him, to shower with him, to watch him helping me during our days at the Diner. As I have already said, I could easily see myself doing this until I was 98 like Edna, as long as Bill was right there with me! I didn’t think anything would change that. I hoped it wouldn’t…
We generally started our days together, in either our rocking chair or on the swing on the front porch. Hugging tightly, maybe even crying softly; even after we could revel in the ‘s’ word, Bill and I still so cherished just being together and close, usually with no clothes in the way. And, by now, the small physical responses of both our bodies were also a welcome part of this time. We so desperately needed each other! It was like both our bodies, our hearts, our very souls screamed that out. Hugging tightly, our bodies yearning at times… And it was not like I needed Bill to, or we needed to take care of each other; Bill saw to that! But even with that, after that… Bill and I, we really needed together, alone and close, at the very beginning of our day. And a few days ago, just before we got up to get ready for work, Bill took my ring, looked deep into my soul, and said softly “forever”, just that one word. Then I did and said the same thing. We started doing that every morning, if we remembered, and it usually made us both hug and cry together a little more, then we would get up, watch each other get dressed, finish getting ready, then be on our way to the Diner.
When we had time, Bill and I walked slowly, hugging, just enjoying each other some more. It was always warm and just a little breezy, and Bill and I enjoyed that. Bill would occasionally pick another pretty white and gold flower from that stringy plant, then gently poke it into my small pony-tail thing. Bill said that flower looked amazing in my hair. Maybe these really are my colors! Still, that flower seldom lasted through the afternoon. Well, a few times, we were up late the night before cherishing each other, and so we accidentally slept in. Since we were way behind, Bill drove his bride to work in our wagon. That was fun too! Bill mentioned we would need to put gas in the car soon. I had no clue about that. One morning we did that on our way to work, and I had no idea what Bill was doing. But our little wagon kept going after that!
Our days at the Diner were always very busy. Having an AC that really worked, here on the edge of this stinking hot desert… Bill kept reminding me we were serving our town like this. Well, Bill and the cook did the most work! And since they did all they did, that left me to basically take orders, and talk to our customers, locals and travelers. Not seeing Delores at her usual times made me cry, but a few minutes on Bill’s shoulder, and him reminding me it would all work out… Well, losing such a dear friend, when I had so few close already… Bill did his best to help me through that. There was nothing he or I could do about it. And of course, my Bill took care of me that monday afternoon when our food delivery came. The Diner actually has a small office, but Edna had stored a bunch of stuff in there, on top of the desk, on top of the chair… Bill found that little room the friday before! Just re-arranging the stuff that was in there cleared off the table, and left plenty of room to use the chair. Well, a bunch of the things in there just went into the garbage dumpster; empty boxes, old newspapers and such. Still, when Bill heard the delivery truck back in on monday, he brought me some ice cream, and had me stay in our office until the coast was clear. He had closed the door! With Bill unloading everything, and putting it exactly where it needed to go, the unloading didn’t take long, and the driver was soon on his way. Bill said he did come in, probably to look for “zombie” (he called me that once), but came back out soon after. Bill didn’t even need to talk to him beyond saying “Ok, you can go.” After the truck left, Bill came to the office, opened the door, and we shared the rest of the ice cream. I got up, he sat down, and I sat in my man’s lap. Well, I just needed my Bill near. Every so often I would get freaked, I heard someone say, if I couldn’t easily see my man. I would find him and we would hug tightly as I relaxed. I really need him!
We were both usually beat by the time we walked home. A few nights, it was early, and still light out. That was nice! Usually though, we needed the flashlight and it was late. We still walked slowly, hugging… And Bill seemed very good at judging what I might want, how tired I was, things like that. One or two nights, it was clear we both just needed sleep. We slept naked, together and close. A few other nights, we showered together, usually more… Bill kept his word and took care of his bride as often as I wanted! Not ever having to fight for that… I had already over-heard stories that I could only now understand… And we found we didn’t really need the ‘s’ word every night. When something bad happened though, Bill would often… I love my man so much…
Well, and a few nights, as we walked down our driveway after work, we found some huge piece of farm equipment (Bill called it) parked next to our tiny wagon. That made Bill and I laugh. The first time we saw that, we actually walked out the back door of our house, and stood on the porch. Wow, that field of cactus, rocks and rattlers, it was flat and… There weren’t any large rocks left either! Bill laughed, and said maybe Earl was on a mission. Bill explained that to me, and I laughed, too. I think Bill picks stuff like that up faster than I do. After that night, we often spent a few minutes on our back porch checking out what Earl was up to. And early this week, we were out there looking, and Bill used his flashlight… Well, we were soon walking over to this large grey metal box thing fastened to the back of the farm house, under the porch. Bill opened it up, flipped one of the little things inside… Wow, a set of huge lights high above those three little apartments off to the left came on! They were very bright, and lit up a portion of that back field nicely. Bill said quietly “plowed flat.” That’s what it looked like to me, too. But I remembered Edna talking about them; these lights made it easier to attend to the chickens when it was dark. And I just now actually realized there were five huge light things on big, tall poles out there. Just one of them was very bright. Bill played with them until just the lights closest to the house were on. That lit up our back yard near the house like it was day almost! But I also reminded Bill that Edna said they cost a lot to run. Bill didn’t leave them on very long.
And last sunday was so amazing… We did our sunday tradition first thing, and just hugged tightly as my Bill kept us swinging. We did get our bed time clothes on since we would be outside, but Bill thought that would be ok. He still felt we should try and avoid exciting each other during that time. Well, that made me giggle! I knew he knew, but I explained anyway. Just being around him, seeing, feeling his body… Wow! We talked little; just hugged tightly, and practiced giving in small ways. I thought a lot about what Bill had told me last sunday, about true friendship, putting each other first. Well, I tried to look back at the last week, and see how I was doing. That proved harder than… I decided I just needed to keep working on that. And we spent more time that afternoon getting my journal transferred, too. As before, Bill read, and I typed it in on that small, quiet computer like Kacey’s. Yes, the parts about Delores, especially about the two entries I did about christmas… I tried to wait until we were finished with those two, then I sat in Bill’s lap and just cried for a while. After I calmed down, I said quietly that it would probably take forever for us to get caught up. Bill laughed, then hugged me close, then he cried…
Our mound of wedding presents was still sitting on our couch. Well, we don’t use the couch any more. But rather than try to madly open them all, Bill suggested sunday evening that he and I each pull out a present, and we would open them together. Next sunday, we would open two more. And Bill mentioned we needed to try to find out who had given each present, and maybe the next week, we could thank them if they came to the Diner. This sounded like an amazing plan. Bill’s present was a new flashlight. This was really nice! It seems like, between the two of us, we seem to misplace any flashlight just about anywhere! Well, the one we got as a gift was big and white. Maybe we could keep track of it a little better. Bill knew the man, and said he would thank him for us. The box I pulled out was from Delores (which made me cry). She had given us more of those cute, short lady shorts that Bill likes so much. Some white, yellow, pink… Bill blushed! We still had bed-time clothes on anyway, so I ran into the bathroom, and changed into one of the pink ones, and got on that white t-shirt that Bill had cut short for me. We ended up on the swing soon after, ultimately into bed and Bill took care of his woman. I still cried a while for Delores afterwards, but there was nothing we could do. Well, I fell asleep on my man’s chest that night. That helped.
And one morning, I don’t even remember which one, I actually woke up on Bill’s chest. I just smiled as soon as I realized where I was. But I soon realized, my lady-ness realized right away… Bill’s thoughts… I asked “Bill, what…” That was all I needed to say, and I knew that! And I knew he knew that! Oh, wow.
Bill was in thought, but chuckled right away when I asked, and that made my head bounce, so we both laughed. Still, Bill answered quickly. “Well, I’m not the smartest person on the planet, but I think that… Maude, as much as we have enjoyed each other’s bodies, we may have a baby on the way.” I couldn’t really tell how Bill felt about this by how he said those words though.
And at first, I did get the most confused look on my face as I tried to figure out exactly what Bill was trying to say. It wasn’t until I remembered Edna explaining the birds and the bees… Sort of dumb-founded, I said quietly “Oooohhh.. The ‘s’ word can do that…” Well, I thought briefly, then asked calmly “Bill, you wouldn’t mind?” This really was a question. I had not even thought it through much further than that.
Bill chuckled again and said “Having a baby with you…” then he broke down into the most gut-wrenching crying, laying there on his back. I moved up and hugged him tight and cried with him for a while, and he only slowly calmed down. Well, I decided against asking any more about it at that point, anyway. And we were late, so we drove the wagon to work that day.
Still, losing the ability to spend time with Delores hurt quite a bit. But as that week or so blurred by, it was so very clear that Bill was taking care of his woman. In the myriad of little details that working at the Diner entailed, as well as the larger threats that used to haunt me, Bill sheltered me, he protected me, he loved me, he took care of my every conceivable need and so many wants. There really was simply nothing I had to worry about, not any more. That made me cry often…
1. Maude: Revelations is copyright 2017 by Shysage.
2. “Angelic” from the “Exodus” CD copyright by Andy Hunter. Please purchase this tune, and play it in the background as you read.