They used to go together like a horse and carriage but maybe that pretty little rhyming metaphor should be updated a bit. How about going together like an electric car and the cable that you need to plug in to recharge it? Doesn’t have quite the same sonority and we might have to change the tune a bit but it’s certainly a more modern concept. Anyway, in both cases you can’t have one without the other.
Take the horse away and the carriage doesn’t go anywhere. Lose the cable and that car won’t be doing many more miles either.
I wonder how many times our horse-cum-cable has disappeared? Run off into a nearby field or got lost under all the junk in the garage? Numerous times. Too many to count. But amazingly we’ve always been able to drag that stupid horse back along the road and hitch it up again. Or should I say find that bloody cable, get it plugged back in and start its job of recharging our marriage. This usually happens just before we’re about to put an ad in the local newspaper to try and sell the damn carriage-cum-car.
A young friend once asked what it’s like to be with the same person for so long. Almost thirty years in our case. I could only ask if she meant on a good day or on a bad day. ‘Both’, she replied.
Well, on a good day it’s like being wrapped in a fleecy blanket. Like standing under a warm shower. Finding money in your jeans. Arriving at a busy car park just as someone is leaving. The smell of a chocolate cake in the oven. The first rays of sun on your back in spring. The laugh of a baby. The dew on a rose. The smile of a stranger. New sheets on the bed. All warm, gentle, fuzzy, fluffy moments.
On a bad day it’s like stubbing your toe on the doorstep. Like biting your tongue. Smudging your nail polish. Stepping in a puddle. Losing your keys. Wonky windscreen wipers in the rain. A fire which doesn’t light. A staple stuck under your shoe. No milk left in the morning. A hole in the toe of your sock. All silly, annoying, irritating, bothersome moments.
‘What about on great days and on rotten days?’ God, this girl is a curious pain in the bum.
On great days it’s like living in heaven on earth.
On rotten days it’s like having a sword stabbed deep into your heart.
‘Wow’, she answered. ‘I hope I’ll feel all those things too one day.’
I hope so too for her. Except perhaps the sword part. Sometimes it’s hard to pull it out without hurting for a very long time.