Wednesday, March 16, 2016
This is not a blog about creative angst. This is not a blog about making music or the various and sundry difficulties that task holds. This post is about blood curdling, eye-popping, lightening-in-your-veins real life shit. This blogpost is about finding your family suddenly at the hairline fracture between safety and harm. This blog is about Seth.
Our morning began abruptly at 5:04, when our Springer Spaniel, Bolt, heard some sort of critter clamboring on the roof. I rolled over and told the dog to hush and stop barking at squirrels. But the sound was less small animal skittery, more clunky.
Seth, already awake from jet-lag, propped himself up and glanced out the window.
"It's no squirrel, it's a guy!" he yelled and nearly levitated out of bed to the backyard, hollering profanities at our would-be intruder.
I stumbled out of the covers and in that foggy adrenaline-just-got-me-up state, began rifling for a flashlight, of all things. Seth had meanwhile climbed on the roof, handgun in tow, and eventually knocked me out of my crazed flashlight search by yelling for me to call 911.
In the minutes that followed, I remember my extremely dry mouth and my heart pounding in my skull. I remember yanking Harper out of her upstairs bed and rushing her downstairs away from danger...the intruder was right by her window, apparently just hanging out. I remember Fender crying and telling me that God had told him in a dream that this was going to happen. All the while, I was talking to the 911 agent who was, apparently also talking to the cops.
But the image that is emblazoned in my memory is of my wiry, jet-lagged husband, dressed only in his skivvies (the flip-flop boxers he has had for god-knows-how-long) in a complete 007 stance with both hands stretched out holding our would-be cat burglar at a silver screen worthy gunpoint. It was spectacular. It was frightening. It was fucking bad ass. It was also, I might add, FREEZING OUTSIDE.
Now, I don't think Seth has ever claimed to be a pacifist, but he is always a peacemaker. He knows just how to diffuse a charged social situation, and he is annoyingly charming with older women. In short, Seth is unresistably likable. So the image of him ready to harm an intruder in order to protect me and our kids was, shall we say, shocking. And, in retrospect, unbelievably sexy.
Apparently, as we were waiting for the cops (who seemed to take AGES) to surround the house and tell us what to do, our rooftop interloper tried to pull something out of his pockets two times. Seth said things like, "Hey, Buddy! None of that!" and "I know you don't want to get hurt so just stay right where you are till the cops come." Intruder-on-the-roof-guy didn't ever say a word. No shots were fired. No persons injured. I guess his hands got scratched on the way down from the roof, so an ambulance came to tend to that. Then the cops booked him on a trespassing charge and that was that.
Seth had recently returned from a two-week stint in the Middle East. He was sick with the flu, and not feeling top shelf, to say the least. I had, just hours before, not-so-silently cursed the chaos of his dirty clothes and backpack and travel gear strewn about the house. And then he pulls that rooftop Jason Bourne shenanigan out of his pocket.
Herein lies the mystery of marriage, of love. The constant navigation of two people through moments of weakness and failures immediately followed by moments of extreme courage and glory. Or vice versa. Broken wonders. That's what we are. Beautiful brave buffoons.
And this is how, well before noon on this Wednesday morning, I am poignantly reminded of grace.
Forget the failures, hold fast to the glory, for that is what we are. That courageous and deft man is who I married. To my dying day, I can not forget that.