I knew him. The way that some animals know where to migrate to in the winter. It was like a happy repetitive dream that I could enjoy every night. One that gives you a warmness in your heart. A safe dream that would get exciting when things seemed to speed up. He helped me take it into account- my life, that is.
He was a man I knew too well.
He was a generally happy man.
He was kind when he talked to strangers.
He was proper when addressing his family even though he had harbored some of his own negative feelings towards them.
He was a man with morals which he only broke when I questioned him about them.
He was a man that grew a beard because he knew how much I liked to see him wear one. It would only last three weeks before the itch became too unbearable.
He always smelled bad after his morning run.
He didn’t clean dishes properly if he didn’t use the dishwasher.
His cooking left much to be desired, but he made rice and steak pretty decently.
I loved it when he wore my apron with “Kiss The Cook” written on it in pink letters. I always came from behind and made sure that the apron’s request was completed.
He liked to sleep on his stomach and sometimes with his left arm around my waist.
When we walked on the street at night, his arm slowly crept around my shoulders before I would look over and see a random, dumb smile on his face.
When it’s game season, he was careful to not shave his scraggly, itchy beard or to forget to touch the mascot’s head ironed on his bag every morning so that his team can come out on top. It only worked when I didn’t want it to.
He thought it was funny to see me panic when I had lost my day planner even though he had hid it under his pillow. His reasoning was that he didn’t want me to start the day without annoying me and then would give me a make-up kiss. His hiding places became more recognizable each time.
He loved to go lingerie shopping with me and acted like a kid in a candy store despite the stares we would get from embarrassed, or perhaps, jealous women.
On some mornings, I would find pee on the toilet seat after he had a long night of work. Little things that just happened by accident or fatigue were things forgiven and forgotten.
I would prank him randomly. One time when we were on vacation in the Bahamas, I painted all his nails hot pink and wrote “Slutty Bitch” on them when he was sleeping. He paraded them around for the rest of the trip. My pranks only made him laugh. He never really seemed affected by them. That only made me want to continue doing them.
He always had a few quips to say about my dangerous driving or my working habits, especially in front of my friends.
I would get annoyed when I couldn’t concentrate on my book when he was playing Halo with his buddies before bed.
He would complain that there was no counter space when I finished doing my makeup in the mornings.
I would sometimes be angry with him when he showed no interest in meeting my extended family.
We would have arguments about things that were out of our control. Some were just for the sake of arguing and others were to prove intelligence. The score would usually turn out to be that I won, but he was right.
He was competitive about certain things. Sometimes he would call a race to the doorstep just out of the blue while I was in heels. He always won those things, which I just sucked up and accepted my defeat.
I taught him how to braid hair just because he challenged me that he could do it better. He really could.
He would occasionally sneak a red shirt into my whites, “just for fun.” It wasn’t funny when my expensive intimate wear turned out a dirty faded pink on two occasions. I was convinced that he did it for the angry sex.
The way he breathed between sips of coffee or tea annoyed me sometimes, but I have learned to do it too so that we can annoy each other about it.
Sometimes when one of us was being silly, we would giggle and we would start creating stupid jokes about it.
We would hold hands even on hot, sweaty days.
It was easy to breathe around him, even when my nose whistled in a self-conscious way.
When he had a bad day at work, I would hug him extra tight before bed and massage his head so that good thoughts can find their way around all the chaos.
When he got sick, he had told me that he loves the forehead kisses that I give him after I tuck him in for the night.
He only liked wearing ties if I tied them for him. I have gotten good at the Half-Windsor knot and, when I was daring, the Eldredge knot. He kissed my nose every time when I finished and said, “Thanks, kid” every time. I always rolled my eyes and lingered a touch on his chest.
I loved how he would soothe me to a more relaxed state when I had a bad day. He would hug me and say that as long as he was here, that he would never let me suffer alone.
I love the warmth that we share together when we cuddle especially on winter nights.
My favorite nights were after dinner, when we sat in our pajamas and watched a comedy show. We cuddled and made jokes that we wished the TV host could hear.
Sometimes when we both brought work home, we made tea or coffee and sat on the ends of the couch. We both wondered if one of us was really working as hard as the other. I loved to catch his glance when we both wondered it at the same time.
On weekends, we tried to go out into the world and explore our surroundings.
During the week we planned about where to go and what to wear and what to eat on our adventures. We joked about wearing costumes and eating fried horse penis and swimming in the fountain in the park. We usually went hiking or played tennis; something active.
We made one another better somehow. We were intimate cheerleaders, friends, lovers, enemies, teachers, and support systems for one another.
Our conversations would span many subjects. From film to war and feces to religion. We didn’t talk about love though. We just expressed it or wrote it down in cards or in emails. We just knew about how to love and one another.
But he was a good man. Not perfect. I never wanted perfect.
I miss him.