“True Love Waits”

I pointed out the moon to Lily as we drove the 900 to her friend Sabrina’s house and we put on the same Radiohead CD we listened to last time, the sad song at the end, “True Love Waits.” Lily looked the title up on her phone, a line about lollipops and crisps, his voice crackling, fading out. It’s pure emotion and raw, goes with the piano, solemn. Feels too early for that though, autumn’s a ways out. I tell Lily to be smart and be safe and have fun, in that order. And then I love you, and watch as she fluffs her hair on the walk to Sabrina’s front door. I put the CD back on for the drive back up the winding country roads past Cougar Mountain, Issaquah, the Sammamish plateau. Where we call home.

Five years ago this week we left for nine months in Europe and flew out of SeaTac on a day forecast to hit 100. When we landed, I didn’t sleep for 24 hours. I ate many times, drank lots, swam, made plans with my mom’s partner Eberhard to climb the Austrian Alps. Two weeks later we did. I didn’t work for another year and that’s when I hung these bistro lamps, and took down the hammock as if some metaphor to signal ‘it’s over.’

I finished Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell that July and tonight, in the back yard, the second chapter of his latest book, Utopia Avenue. I got a new wireless speaker from IKEA and risked my life in the process, caught in the maze of their warehouse display. I had a moment driving home tonight where I saw myself behind the wheel of my car through the eyes of another driver stopped at the light, sizing each other up. Is this the mid-life crisis? My car is fast and I’m not afraid to prove it. I have turkey skin beneath my chin. I’m angry but falter in the delivery, thinking about getting a gun. We have no plans to go anywhere. It is nearing the time of the official sunset and I’m wearing socks because the AC makes it too cool inside. We have hung the laundry out to dry and soon, I’ll set the fans. I am 49 and have been playing the same song now since 2015. Something’s got to change, but likely won’t.

Categories: Memoir, parenting, writing

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20 replies

  1. I have been listening to Jefferson Airplane’s Lather for almost 30 years.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My husband always says be smart or make smart choices to our oldest daughter before she goes out. This includes safety, I think, but maybe we should say it. It costs nothing. I always say have fun but I mean the other things too. We have also been thinking of getting a gun. Maybe for us, when we finally do, we will have reached middle age? I’ll put it off as long as I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, “be smart” is a nice way to encompass a lot. God, what else do you say? The be safe is about distancing and wearing a mask. Crap shoot for either or both. The gun isn’t in our wheelhouse; I had a girlfriend once who said you invite a degree of violence in your house as soon as you make that choice and even if it’s woo-woo I tend to agree. Depends on where you live too, maybe. Depends on a lot! My dad got one when he started fearing he and his wife would be potential victims on account of their perceived frailty and inability to defend themselves. But then you carry through the logic and it doesn’t hold. Fear is a funny thing and kind of legit at times! Thanks for writing Kristen…be safe! Make smart choices, ha! Bill

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      • That’s the thing I’ve always been afraid of with a gun. I’d want it locked away and how likely then that we’d get to it in time, to what? Shoot a stranger inside our house? Crazy. I more imagine cocking a shotgun like every badass in a zombie/post apocalyptic movie, which is fantasy and probably not even how a shotgun works. Make smart choices, indeed.

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      • Ha ha! The shotgun at short range! Guts everywhere! The glory of it! Cue that Twisted Sister song right now, we’re not gonna take it! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Thanks for this, fun playing. Dark times, dark thoughts. Still love the dark though. Keep a nine iron or a baseball bat by the bed. Holy water…

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      • There’s too much Chekhov involved in buying a gun. If you purchase a gun at the beginning of Act 1…

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      • Ha ha, I’ll share that joke with Dawn. She’s actually read (and acted) Chekhov so she’ll appreciate on another level…thanks for this.


  3. I’d say too much is changing … could we please back up about 4 years and make some smarter choices re who chooses this country’s priorities! Can’t go in reverse, obviously, so I’m crossing my fingers for further change …
    I enjoy your reminiscing spiels!
    Wireless speaker for use outdoors? How’s it sound? (I’m thinking of camping trips …)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes to the wireless speaker from IKEA, the FREKVENS model for $70. They have another, cheaper mode you can wear on your belt for $20. If you can stomach the in-store IKEA experience (they don’t ship). Enjoy your upcoming camping outings! Here’s to change, fer sure…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This whole post feels like a Radiohead song.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey that’s funny: I’m doing a weekly book club where we do those 33 1/3 book series books; recently we did the OK Computer one and talked about the lyrics, etc, what they “mean,” deliberate air quotes…lots of clip art type lines, makes me reflect on my own. Maybe going for feeling over meaning. Don’t know. Don’t care kind of! Ha! Hey! Question! Are you reading (you should!) Utopia Avenue?


  5. Wow, can’t believe that trip was already five years ago. Man. Time.

    Liked by 1 person

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