Monday, July 13, 2009

Falling Apart

Our house is quiet. The waning daylight fills our living room, four open windows allowing the fresh air of summer to temp us with the essence of charcoal burning, children laughing, overdue fireworks and evening yard work.

I wonder if the neighbors have any idea how clearly we can hear their shared remarks, broken only by a passing car or conversing bird.

We are inside, and my feet rest on his hips as he studies Grant's Atlas of Anatomy. He remarks to me that a woman having her ovaries removed before fifty will likely die at a younger age, while being less susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer. I let that reality turn over in my mind, settling on the fact that disturbing your body that drastically, removing two hormonally crucial pieces, would seem to make you more likely to fall apart at an earlier age...even well protecting you from a different danger.

Ultimately, that's what he studies in his free moments, investing the energy remaining from 70 and 80 hour work weeks in learning ways to keep people from falling apart so quickly.

It's ironic that his study of such seems to make me prone to do so quite easily.

He puts in earplugs. He does not do well with distraction. I have always been readily able to focus in the midst of a multitude of sounds and distractions. He can't handle the conversation across the street and three doors down.

But he is a good listener, a great listener. And that was the first thing I noticed about him when we became friends. So I will forgive his florescent orange earplugs, as he has forgiven my multi-tasking and wandering mind. And I will appreciate the sounds of summer, and he can appreciate the anatomy of ovaries.

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