Sunday, January 07, 2007

If I Had My Way...

We'd be back at Third Street Bagel, on a Sunday morning in January just like this, with Counting Crows on the stereo. We'd have our window seats, staring out at downtown Marquette through frost-laced windows, and we'd be sipping at strong coffee while we talked and laughed. You'd be making fun of me for how much cream-cheese I ask for on my bagel, and I'd be blowing you off, relishing the feel of my arteries clogging with every bite.

If I had my way, you'd be wearing your snuggly-shirt, and I'd lose myself in rubbing a free hand up and down your back. You'd steal a kiss or two from me, and I'd let you. When the conversation eventually petered out, we'd simply content ourselves to pore over copies of The New Yorker together in silence. We'd read interesting bits aloud to each other, and trade when we were done.

If I had my way, we'd be gazing and smiling at the hippie kids that came in; the odd preppy couple that wandered in; the professor with a laptop and an armload of research documents. We'd be debating which sounded better--a journey out to Sugarloaf or an afternoon spent under blankets, watching movies and making love. We'd never arrive at a concensus, so we'd do both. We'd end up at the library later, curled up in our armchairs in front of the fireplace, and in the evening we'd call up Mexican and Sean, tell them to meet us at the Landmark.

If I had my way, sometimes I think we'd have never left the shores of Superior. Even on block leave, I've never felt as alive as I did being back in the city that brought us together. I miss Marquette, and I miss you. I miss the company of our friends, and I miss the endless thrum of life that flows throughout a college town. I miss seeing the sun rise over the Big Lake; the way it throws the Pictured Rocks into faintest relief on the horizon. I miss our weird little bookstore, and I miss nights spent shouting to be heard over shitty bands at the Upfront.

If I had my way, we'd be home. You'd never have to worry about my safety again, and I'd never have to question the virtue of my line of work. Sure, life might be a bit harder, but we'd have each other, and I might be closer to finishing my Bachelor's. Hell, by now you'd probably be done with your clinicals, and you'd be that much closer to your RN. If I had my way, I'd be a better husband, and a better friend; not dragging you over hell's half-acre just so I could satisfy some bullshit need to prove myself. We might be pregnant by now, and we'd be arguing over what to name it if it was a boy. I'd know better than to challenge Rowan for a girl.

If I had my way, I'd change a lot of things. I'd have put you first more; I'd have put my own values before a steady line of work. I'd have done a lot of things differently. But I'd never dream of changing anything with you.

And that's when I realize that all of this has been necessary.

God, I miss you.


Anonymous Anne said...

We never even realized then that those were the moments that would carry us through. I promise to never take them for granted again.

You're right baby. All of this has been necessary. As hard as it is, this is what we had to do, and I don't resent a minute of it. Fifty years from now, we're going to look back on this and smile, because we never took a minute for granted after this (assuming the cream cheese doesn't get you first).

I love you!

11:13 AM  
Blogger Seven of Six said...

Jeez, I hope I'm not interupting a private moment.
Thanks for sharing Milo and Anne.

I feel safe for America's future when I read your words Milo.
We will need more inteligent young men and women like you and Anne to help our country regain what has been lost.

4:02 PM  
Blogger .25 life crisis kid said...


7:17 PM  
Anonymous soul pumpkin said...

...bless you both, Milo and Anne...would love to join you for bagels and coffee in Marquette...i even like little schmear of butter under the cream cheese...
...breakfast is on me...

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there. Look on the bright side, when you get back for next winter, there might actually BE frost on the windows...
You'll live through the people issues- you made it through North Urine just fine!

2:07 AM  
Blogger Blue Wren said...

If I had my way, you'd have your way soon, Milo.

3:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I havent posted to a blog before, see if this works. looks like i need some schoolin' lol.

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently not...I dont have a blog and don't intend to have one soon, lol. I was directed here from Ample Sanity where I was reading about David Delamare tiles...pretty cool to see diff stuff from diff sites. anyway, i like your stuff and i have you bookmarked.

6:07 AM  
Blogger iamcoyote said...

Milo, that was beautiful - I could see the whole thing in my mind. Your connection with Anne is what will get both of you through this. It's lovely to see!

4:48 PM  
Blogger Softball Slut said...

Hell I miss her too now. You are such a wonderful writer.

5:15 PM  
Blogger toadman said...

Keep your head down, your eyes and ears open, and you'll get your way soon I hope.

10:49 PM  
Blogger green libertarian said...

Wow. Your description of life before the war sounds perfectly idyllic.

I hope you get back to it SOON!

12:51 AM  
Blogger Michael Krahn said...


Found you through google blog search because you mentioned Counting Crows. I did some writing about the band recently which I’m putting up on my blog in 5 parts.

Check it out if you want to:

2:43 AM  

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