Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Picture for a Memory

I saw this picture tonight. The weather again very similar to a wonderful night thirty two years ago in the shadow of the monument here. A memory that never leaves. David, recently back from his first cruise on the Archer Fish, and I exploring our new area on a calm early September Friday night. I don't even think I had started yet at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital.
The summer had been hot, August the hottest after a cool start in June. David assigned to the sub the end of July; the first of August he flew out of New London Airport to meet his crew in Rome, a Med run, they called it. We stayed awake all night before the flight, talking in the still of the dark, about almost every thing. I knew I could sleep after he boarded the long international flight; slumber that night wasn't important. We got to the airport to find the flight had been postponed twelve hours. The rush drained and dragged us home to sleep all day in the sunny heat hidden by venetian blinds. The actual good bye wilted by the earlier one.
A month later, I rode on the captain's boat out the Thames to the Long Island Sound, with other wives, to escort the huge black boat boasting the lei we made for the coning tower. I had been in an accident in that month, unharmed, but totaled our car. I spent so many lonely nights, even though in my typical fashion I threw myself into wives club, church, spending time with new friends. A friend visited. I drove us home, when the accident happened in the Poconos. David adjusted to cranking, working in the kitchen that all new crew members had to do for the first three months. His fingers showed deep fissures from washing all the pots and pans and peeling potatoes. 
I had a job, but the orientation started mid September, almost like school. I was free when David came home to our apartment in Uncasville. He, too, had off time since the sub finished a five month Med run.
This night, we wandered around Fort Griswold. The fort perched on a hill overlooking the Thames. We sat on a 'ha-ha' wall, one of those stone walls built into the hill with dirt behind it. The low sun reflected off the river behind David's head as we faced each other. Separation lived in our relationship as a sailor and the waiting woman. David's eyes with his words dove into the depth of his love for me. That memory stayed me through many of the hardships marriages encounter. Magical gazes a girl of twenty one or fifty three treasures forever .

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