9:14 AM – Slept in after a late night at the Ass show. My awesome black-tee shirted wife endured her first thrash metal circle pit and felt the floor buckle beneath a dude’s skull. She came home hungry for sleep and a morning with Sarah Groves. I dreamed of Hank Hill with goat horns and a Suicidal Tendencies headband. My wife’s a good lady to support her friend in the band, but I believe we landed polarized on the Ass-spectrum : I need more Ass in my life, she’s had all the Ass she can stomach. So it goes.
“Besides, deciding what is interesting is about as subjective as things get. People hand me books and articles to read that they promise are fascinating, and I wake up holding the book, with a jerk – like when you wake up from a little nap at the movies, thinking that you are falling out of an airplane.” – Anne Lamott
I love my wife for our opposite interests. For instance, the wife and I attended the Ass show last night, watching the same spectacle but leaving with opposite responses. Earlier this week, I moved the stereo from our upstairs guest room to our downstairs living room. I was excited to play my Duke Ellington and In This Moment records, but yesterday my wife spun an Indigo Girls marathon after she blasted a Jennifer Knapp retrospective. We’ve been known to arrive at the same theater in the same car and then duck into separate films – me to a raunchy comedy or slasher, her to a bang-bang-shoot-em-up action or historical drama. Afterwards, we talk about our films over backgammon at the local watering hole. Our dual-theater-going has proved a splendid arrangement, and one that has afforded us two – count them, two – interventions from friends questioning the stability of our marriage. We’re just crazy comfortable with our biracial status comprising the least of our differences.
In our beginning, we had the darnedest time finding films or television we both found funny. She loved Sinbad’s stand-up, whereas I was into the mockumentaries of Christopher Guest. Then one day in the summer of 2003 we watched Johnny Knoxville’s Jackass for the first time together, and we both laughed to tears. To this day, Knoxville and Party Boy hold a special place in our marriage, and the entire Jackass TV and filmography holds preeminence in our cinematic library. The theater release of each Jackass sequel marked a romantic rendezvous for the Still family. And even though we reacted differently to the Ass thrash last night, Emily Haines and Metric – a mutually favorite band – rocked us both sufficiently this past Wednesday in Austin.
Alright, I had originally started this post as an opportunity to explore my primary literary interests – the Whitman “urge” and the Hughes/Apatow coming-of-age motif – but instead this post morphed into a brief celebration of my wife and her willingness to embrace our differences.
This is a good morning to celebrate my wife and our un-plum line marriage. I’m sitting here blaring the metal musics through my earbuds, decked in scraggled hairs and my Texas Chainsaw Massacre t-shirt (“. . . . it happened!”), and I know she’ll come down those stairs at any moment grinning and put together, and she’ll pour loads of cream and sugar into her lovely, lovely pool of goat black coffee, and then she’ll open her Bible and read on the couch with her feet perched beneath her. Here soon I’ll scratch around a bit like a lost chicken, fix another cup of hopeless black sludge, and sit opposite her with a Chuck Palahniuk novel. In an hour or so, we’ll car up, allowing whatever cd was last in the stereo – her Lumineers or my Tumbleweeds – to serenade us as we head downtown to meet a friend for barbecue. These are our days, hooked just off-center of a pole that leans true. It’s the only way we know to do this thing called marriage.