I'm sitting at my kitchen table. The fire is going. Duncan is perched in front of the front door staring out at a snow storm. Skylar is in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher and quietly singing something to himself. Taylor Swift? I don't know. It's probably Taylor Swift.
We walked around the neighborhood this morning to get coffee and breakfast. As we walked, we talked about our favorite Nevada memes from this week. Like this one:
And this one:
It was chilly, and I clung to Skylar's arm while we walked, savoring the rare moment where I get to just be with him without distractions or a nagging feeling that we both have work to do.
At one point Skylar started laughing to himself because he thought of a joke, but then when he tried to tell it to me it didn't make a lot of sense. "It worked it my head. It was funny in my head," he assured me.
We stopped by two or three little coffee shops with walk-up windows. These places won't allow anyone inside because of the pandemic, so they've all adjusted their services accordingly. The lines were long at the first two, which is why we passed each of them up in search for a quicker stop.
"I'm starting to get hangry," Skylar warned me.
His version of a bad mood includes a slight frown and smaller bounce in his step. He's not really known for his temper. He's incapable of truly holding a grudge or maintaining a feud with anyone. He once told me when we were dating "if we ever break up, no matter the reason, I'm still going to love you and I'll never say an unkind word about you to anyone."
"What if I burn a forest to the ground and murder your family?" I asked him about his reckless promise.
"Please don't do that. I don't want to have to love someone who does things like that."
We started walking faster after the "hangry" warning. I quickly launched into a list of reasons he should be happy today to try to offset the bad mood. "It looks like it's going to snow and you love snow. We can turn on the fire when we get back to the house and you can snuggle up with Duncan in front of it. I'm making a roast tonight for dinner."
"Ok. This is helping. Keep going," he urged me.
We finally ordered some food. He bought two full breakfasts for himself, something he does regularly. I'll never understand how he is so much skinnier than me.
We huddled together, shivering, while we waited for someone to bring out our order. And then we walked home where he devoured his multiple breakfasts, quickly brightening back up, before going into the kitchen to do the dishes while quietly singing something to himself. Probably Taylor Swift.
I continue to marvel—and I'll never get sick of saying it, even if you get sick of hearing me say it—that I somehow got to have this life. Growing up in a world that taught me that the kind of family I have now was evil and wrong made me think this could never actually be possible for me. So impossible that I didn't let myself even hope for it until just a few years ago.
I sometimes get scared that it will all go away. That a Supreme Court case is going to strip this life from me. That some family and friends will cheer when that happens. That the cheering will almost hurt more than the thing they're cheering. That we eventually might have to move just to stay a family.
There may be a continued fight in my future. More exhausting battles with my community whom I'm trying to convince that Skylar and I and people like us actually aren't all that scary. More struggles to be patient. More pendulum swinging that sometimes feels like a punch to the gut.
I'm sure I'll be upset and sad at various points in the next several years.
But right now, today, while the snow falls outside and the best person I know quietly sings to himself in the next room, I won't resist the urge to be happy.
~It Just Gets Stranger