Some time after the bathtub conversation, I had a ring on my finger. On my dirty, sweaty, unshowered, kickball finger. There's a difference between knowing you are going to spend the rest of your life with someone and actually actively planning to spend the rest of your life with someone. It's a big as the difference between I should write a book and I wrote a book.
I remember standing in the outfield of that kickball game, staring at my ring under the field lights. The ring sparkled. I can't believe someone loved me enough to propose to me. I couldn't stop the thought. It was there.
I think that's been my deep, dark fear all this time. I always knew I would be 30 and single. I knew that when I was 8 years old. I would be a late bloomer. When I imagined my life at a distant 30 years old, I was always alone. When 30 became too close, I started imagining my life at 40 years old. At 40, ideas became murkier. I didn't have three kids, but I wasn't alone.
When I imagined this phantom husband-to-be, he was always wearing a suit. I can't even think of a profession that requires a suit every day, but that's what he wore, along with a boring black tie. He was breathless from rushing around, presumably from doing adult things that required suits. And he had a bit of a belly from too many cheeseburgers during lunch.
Apparently I spent more time thinking about this than I realized.
But my Abraham doesn't eat cheeseburgers. He has a one suit for both weddings and funerals. I hate this suit. It's chocolate brown, and it's impossible to find a coordinating shirt and tie that matches the color of dog dung. If he's breathless, it's from asthma.
Most often, your idea for the book is not the book you end up writing. The book is always so much better.