Up, Up & Away


This morning, TJ snapped at me. I hadn’t been awake for more than two minutes and hadn’t said more than two sentences before he was banging the room door behind him, leaving me open-mouthed and staring. A few months ago, even a few weeks, this moment would turn what might’ve been a good day into a bad one. I’d be raring for a fight, and would sulk until we talked over every detail, and TJ would eventually be so frustrated he’d stop talking altogether — all before noon.

Yesterday we found out that a few of the supplies for TJ’s job are in Palm Springs, about three and half hours away. The renovation has been on hold for days, no work could be done without the supplies, so TJ and I have been gallivanting around California. But TJ is a worker bee. He’d work every day if it was a choice between that or not working at all. It was day four of him not working when he got the call about Palm Springs.

In typical fashion, he decides that he’s going himself to get what they need. We agree to go first thing this morning. And by first thing, we mean when we wake up. But for the two of us that means two different things. I naturally wake up at 8:30/9 while TJ is out the door by 7:30 like clockwork. This morning unfolded, as I can see now that it would, with TJ up and ready to start the day, and me rolling over for another REM cycle.

I thought about all of this in the moments after huffy TJ left and made a decision. I knew I hadn’t done anything to piss him off. I knew that he was stressed about completing this job and stressed about not working. I knew if I reacted negatively that the whole day would poisoned. And no one wants to sit in silence for seven hours in a car.

I got up, and got in the shower. I sang to the water spray. I decided that today would be a good day. Or at least it wouldn’t be a bad day, because of me. I remembered how happy we’d been yesterday on the beach: TJ flying his kite, me reading poetry in the beach tent. I was resolved to being a supportive partner, to think beyond myself. I stood dripping beside the tub when TJ came in the room. He looked at me, I looked at him, the rest of the day hanging by a thread. Then he smiled and said, “I’m sorry I snapped.” Then he kissed me.


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