The Many Lives of Adrian

The Many Lives of Adrian

Had he made a left turn instead of hooking up with me back in 1996, doubtless, his fate would have been storied.

Or maybe not. Maybe he’d be living in a crap apartment on the freeway with a mattress on the floor and no women anywhere and still buttoning up his polo shirt to the neck. There’s a reason women like men who are taken – women tend to shine up their men – fashion-wise, especially –  so they can take them out without shame.

As it stands, he’s got many monikers.

Eldest Son. Moonshiner. Dog-Claw Clipper. Remover of Slivers From The Hands Of Screaming Children. PC Geek. Motorhead. Reformed Felonious Motorcyclist. Veteran. College Football Fan.

He can rock the hell out of a man sweater. Rethread the drawstring in your hoodie when the tie gets pulled all the way out. Swap out the engine of a car. Laugh when baby diapers explode over walls or into full bath tubs, find humor when someone vomits profusely all over the shag carpet, and clean it up without needing a therapist later. Can cook almost anything. Sweet talks old ladies out of giving up their entire rhubarb patch, so he can make a cocktail he calls a Rhubarita. He has a very metrosexual side, too. He paints his toenails (to match his car) and gets very fussy about his shoes (though he usually owns just one pair at a time). Once he mowed the lawn, while wearing an apron – he’d been baking bread – and flip-flops, and smoking a cigarette, with zero sense of irony.

Even becoming a father to a child hasn’t made him less spontaneous. If he walked in the door this afternoon and told me he was going hang-gliding in a few hours, I’d not be surprised. Once he ran for city council without bothering to tell me.

He has a quick temper – which doesn’t just mean anger. His mood, too, is mercurial. He can go to vehemently opinionated to barely giving a shit in less than a minute. His people are known for their stridency on topics which they might not care very much about, or have anything to do with, really, either. I don’t know what causes that. Some mix of Irish and Dutch? Whiskey and testosterone? Cigars and shotguns?

There was not much gentleness in him when we met. He grew up among too many loud, pushy boys for that to be valued. But we had a child and his tendency toward perfect competence in everything he attempts made him gentle with our baby Matilda. Made him gentler, perhaps, than he would normally be.

If he were a book, he’d be the box set of Foxfire survival manuals, those old hippie books that explain how to build your own smithy or grind acorns into flour. He knows how everything from bullets to diesel engines are made.

If I were a book, I would be a collection of nursery rhymes, mere entertaining frippery, useless as an opera written for the kazoo. I am a jester, pleasing the king with a turn of phrase, earning my keep with wit. How strange he married such a feminist clown.

Two days ago, he turned 38. I bought him a bathrobe and the DVD of Young Frankenstein.

What any of that shit means, I couldn’t say.

One Comment

  • Holly on Dec 17, 2011 Reply

    Also, I love your husband–not, of course, in the same way you do–but he is such a good friend to have and enjoy him so much, especially when we drink whiskey together and he talk cooking and he shows up here with a pitcher of ready-to-go rhubbies.

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