There was the time we came home from work at two in the morning in separate convertibles, tops down on a hot L.A. night, riding side by side on the deserted freeway, giddy with our work and each other, teasing off ties and bows, acting out a Randy Newman song that we were writing for ourselves: “I Love L.A.” meets “You Can Leave Your Hat On.”
There was the time we hiked in the woods together and fell into each other’s arms in a bed of poison ivy that we had to treat for weeks with daily doses of champagne. There were the flowers from Milo Bixby that we gave each other, outrageous spring extravaganzas that Monet would have died to have painted. There were the twenty-four hour trips to Laguna Beach that felt like weeks in paradise.
There were days in hospitals with babies who were too young to have to be there. Nights of too much work, too much pressure, too much success, too much failure. Just too much. Days on the farm swimming in the pond, feeding cows, beginning her first novel as the snow hushed the land and the wood stove warmed her. Years more of hacking a winding path through one wilderness or another to be able to write and be with our boys.
And now, as our sons make their way into the world, trips to Paris where the light on the Seine at dusk is almost as beautiful as her face, uplifted to me as I hold her in my arms and wonder if Randy Newman knew when he wrote those songs what he was offering to someone like me, someone who wanted to live them and never stop, who had a woman who made that possible, a woman who made everything possible.
Roll down the window, put down the top
Crank up the Beach Boys, baby
Don’t let the music stop
We’re gonna ride it till we just can’t ride it no more.
Happy anniversary, lover.