So, Husband and I got married almost one year ago. In honor of our upcoming anniversary, I’m going to start calling him by his name. It’s not a secret; I’ve identified him by name before. I bestowed the generic and terribly heteronormative title on him back when I was writing posts as “Mrs.” Don’t worry, I’m cringing at the regressivness. I was just really excited to be married, okay, and more committed to anonymity back then. It’s sort of unfair that I quickly started using my real name here and left him to disappear into a role, knowable only in relation to me. Female bloggers do that a lot, even in purported “couples’ blogs.” So, Bob it is.
In the spirit of full disclosure, the real reason I’m making this change now is because I wanted to start this next story with this sentence:
Finding Bob was like finding Bruce Springsteen.
Circa 2005, I knew three things about Bruce Springsteen. My parents listened to Dancing in the Dark on their honeymoon, the cover of Born in the USA is cheesy, and people (not me) sometimes called him The Boss. Circa 2005, I knew what I liked, musically-speaking. I’d been listening to Ryan Adams croon about women and whiskey and leaving small towns for years. I knew that American folk music is the truest form of poetry. I’d dug back to the source, to Bob Dylan, and back some more to Woody Guthrie, and a further back, to Robert Johnson. I knew about songwriting and a man with a guitar. And then I heard a strain of “The River.” You want to talk about Americana? About women and small towns and rough poetry? It’d been right there, waiting for me, literally my entire life. Not just that one song, but an entire catalog of songs I already felt like I’d grown up with.
Circa 2005, I knew nothing of Bob. For almost a year, we walked the same halls in the Modern Languages building, and read the same worn pages in On the Road, and listened to the same sad songs, but I didn’t know it. I knew what I liked, though, romantically speaking. I’d been dating boys who read fiction and listened to indie rock and talked about leaving small towns for years. I already knew that I needed someone to travel with. I knew about love and a man with a guitar. And then I saw Bob walk into the light and pull up a seat, and I heard him start talking about women and small towns and rough poetry. You want to talk about love? It was like he’d been right there, waiting for me, my entire life. Not just for that one day, in that one town, but for always and in places I knew I must have been before.