A short story and poetry collection by Andy Betz, December 2019
Andy Betz has tutored and taught in excess of 30 years. He lives in 1974, has been married for 27 years, and collects occupations (the current tally is 100). His works are found everywhere a search engine operates.
Remembrance of all things past
The season provides the wife and me the rare opportunity to see another year through our eyes of 27 years ago. Our tree has half of the required lights and only a select few ornaments. Not all the lights have working bulbs and most of the ornaments have seen better days. The tree stands a mere three and half feet, but we place it on a box, near the front picture window, elevated, so that passersby may view the top of what they believe to be a full tree decked out in full regalia. Presents have always been sparse, but meaningful. It is the quality of the intention and not the quantity resources that continue to make our memories.
We began this marriage on a small budget and big dreams.
We have never moved past this starting point.
By now, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Four days after first meeting the woman, who would be my wife, I planned for the most epic date we would ever share. I rented an elephant.
Not just any elephant. I rented and thirty year old female Indian elephant with a nice disposition and fully trained to accept riders with equally nice dispositions. The owner said her name was Nancy.
I brought my date, soon to be my fiancé, soon to be my wife, to the park to meet Nancy (and her trainer). I paid the cash and Nancy lowered herself for the two of us to climb aboard and take our place. Having never done this before, we were in for a treat. Nancy weighed almost five tons and walked as gracefully as any beauty contestant winner ever. She kept an even gait, and remained within the limits of the area designated for “pets not on a leash” (park rules at that time). Nancy covered three laps around the park and became distracted only once during a brief encounter with a Frisbee crossing her path. Undaunted, and without any assistance for either of us, Nancy returned with her charges unharmed and only slightly tattered from an occasional brush with tree limbs not normally encountered by pachyderm unassisted humans.
The final portion of the date included both my soon-to-be-wife and I feeding Nancy her afternoon snack of selected grasses and grains. I asked if Nancy could have chocolate and the trainer had no reservations to the contrary. Accordingly, we permitted the most agile trunk to remove small squares of Hersey’s chocolate from our open hands to her awaiting mouth. I am beginning to believe most of the world’s problems can (indeed) be solved by the application of this confectionery.
After a few well-earned rubs behind Nancy’s ears (another first for the two of us), we departed by walking toward our car. I blew my future wife’s mind with a Biblical level of randomness and creativity, virtually impossible to surpass. We became engaged soon afterward and have been married ever since (27 years and counting).
Had it not been for Nancy and a few pips of Milton’s finest, who knows how my life may have become? I owe, at least, the onset of a great marriage to a 10000 pound female and her natural instinct for chocolate.
In one nanosecond, light will travel the length of my shoe
In one microsecond, I fell for your soft coos
In one millisecond, I began pitching woo
In one second, I can spell or perform jiujitsu
In one minute, a cup of coffee will brew
In one hour, I can create my world famous beef stew
In one day, of marriage, you gave me your first honeydo (list)
In one week, of marriage, you called me your babu
In one month, we could vacation through Katmandu
In one year, my interest will accrue
In all my life, I could not find another you