Pillow Talking after the Old Black Dog's Fright

JOE MURRAY

May 18, 1992|By JOE MURRAY

ANGELINA COUNTY, TEXAS. — My wife, getting up in the night to take a sinus pill, left the light off so as not to wake me, stumbled over the old black dog in the dark, fell and barked her knees something awful, and woke me up anyway.

So we lay awake and talked for awhile.

She told me one of the girls she teaches in Sunday school had asked her how do you know when you meet the man who is the right man for you.

''He'll be somebody you'll want to be with all the time,'' she said she told the girl. ''Even after you've been with him all day and after a date that night, when he leaves you at your house you ache to be with him.''

I asked if that was all there was to it, and she said, no, there was one thing more but she didn't tell the girl what that one thing was. She wouldn't tell me, either, when I asked her.

So we talked awhile longer.

I told her I didn't know what I'd tell a boy who asked me how you know when you meet the girl who is the right girl for you. I think for a young man it just happens. One morning you're brushing your teeth, you look at yourself in the mirror and something inside you says, ''Well, time to get married.'' Next thing you know you're married. That seems to happen a lot at about 23 or 24 years of age.

My wife said she thought there was more to it than that.

I told my wife that other things happen the same way in a man's life. When I got to be 50, something inside me evidently said, ''Well, time to grow skin tags.'' Next thing I knew I was growing skin tags, mainly around my neck. The one that's on my eyelid I've been meaning to do something about.

My wife told me how romantic I was.

So we talked awhile longer.

She told me how life with me had always been an adventure, exciting and wonderful. I asked exactly what and which part. She said everything, all of it.

I allowed as how falling over an old black dog in the dark seemed about as exciting as it gets nowadays for us.

That wasn't what she was talking about, she said. But it was frightening, she said, all of a sudden falling over something in the dark.

Imagine how frightening it was for the old black dog, I said, all of sudden something falling over you in the dark.

So for awhile we lay there and didn't talk.

Finally I asked her again what was the other thing she wouldn't tell, and she told me.

''It's that you feel you can't get close enough to him, no matter how close you get,'' she said and snuggled up close to me as she could.

I don't know how I could have misunderstood what she was saying, but I guess I did. She told me I did. She told me to roll over and go to sleep, and I did.

Joe Murray, editor-publisher emeritus of the Lufkin (Texas) Daily News, is senior writer for Cox Newspapers.

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