Tonight my husband, Alex, and I took our youngest son, Sandor, who is handsome and sixteen and his girlfriend, Haley, downtown for Halloween.
Alex and I hung out in the lobby of a grand old hotel, The Arlington, while they explored our historic district. The Arlington was built in the 1920s and is extravagant, tacky, magnificent, beautiful and historic. Everything about the Arlington screams “Great Gatsby,”. I love this place.
There was a redneck looking guy (seriously wearing overalls and camo) with a guitar on the stage. He really didn’t match the soaring ceilings and exquisite architecture. But he was good, especially when singing Bob Seager.
When Haley and Sandor showed back up and sat down at our table, we talked about the history of the Arlington and watched the trick or treaters who wandered in and out, in costume.
Then redneck dude on stage played Stand By Me. Haley and Sandor immediately moved to the dance floor. He’s tall and she’s short and they looked adorable slow dancing. She clung to his purple and gray letterman jacket and they both had love sick expressions. It was beautiful and silly.
I grabbed Alex’s hand, “Come on, we’re dancing.”
“No, I don’t want to dance.”
“I Don’t care Alex, come on sweetie. Please?”
“Fine,” he mumbled but he was obviously miserable and half pissed.
For two or three minutes Alex and I clung to one another. He almost smiled. I was truly happy. Then the song ended.
The truth is, I’m worried about my husband. I don’t know if he feels joy anymore and I don’t know if he enjoys living. But I want him to stay here with me, for a while anyway. Because I love him. And we’ve been together for more than 25 years.
I’m terrified, but I’m going to keep dragging him into weird situations and forcing him to slow dance with me….because I don’t want to be alone, in this world, without him. And he’s a really good dancer.
I have a theory. If you want to be happy, no matter how old you are, you have to actively take part in life. Choose to dance. Make a decision to stop watching this world and the people in it, then dance….jump in…and try to be a part of the magic swirling around us all. It’s the only chance we have.