Tag Archives: Arts

Last Night I Found My Wife

My version of this story.

I saw the story in the local news several weeks ago that Buddy Guy was to be in town. The calendar got marked. In an email yesterday our good friends said they were going, too. They would try to take up some extra space so we could join them. We packed our collapsible chairs and headed for town.

It was a beautiful evening for an outdoor concert of this blues legend. I often listen to him online. We walked the 3 blocks to the downtown street venue. A warmup band was on stage. We approached from the side and passed the crowded space by the beer tent. I kept checking behind me to make sure Melanie was right there. We scanned the seated crowd for our friends. Nope. Not there up close. We decided to check a little farther back.

We had to go off the street, around a vendor tent, and get up on the sidewalk. It was really loud and distracting. People were milling about. The visual and sound interfered. As we stepped up onto the curb a person we know walked rapidly by us from the opposite direction. Did he see us in that brief moment of passing? I got stopped by a jam of people and waited to let them clear. I was carrying two chair bags on my shoulders and needed to be careful not to knock anyone down. In the wait, I checked a few more seated rows of people. Still no evidence of our friends.

I checked behind me for Melanie so we could proceed. Where was she? I didn’t see her anywhere. Maybe she and that other person we know stopped to chat. Nope. Not back there. Did she go ahead of me? I couldn’t see her anywhere ahead. What should I do?

I decided to wait a couple of minutes to see if she would come find me. We always told each other to stay put if we get separated. Don’t make it worse by roaming around. She was no where to be seen in front or back of me. Now I was getting concerned. The noise and music added to the confusion in my head as I thought it over. Clearly, she was not behind me. That was easy to see. I will go ahead slowly toward the corner where we were originally headed.

I neared the corner and caught a glimpse of her facing away scanning the crowd for me. Relief. Now stay put as I shuffle through this crowd. Don’t move. I reached out to gently touch her arm and let her know I was there. There was a welcome embrace.

We’ve been in much bigger crowds up to a million with the inauguration last January. It has never been hard to keep track of each other. This time a small thing threw us off. It was so simple and quick. I don’t want to do that again.

I’m glad I found my wife last night. She seemed gone way too long. Time is relative to what is going on. It was probably only a brief event. But, it seemed to take forever while it happened.


Last Night I Lost My Husband

In a crowd of thousands, I was helpless, unable to move. Jim, my love and companion for 33 years, was gone. And rarely have I felt more alone.

We went downtown for the soul music festival. Icon Buddy Guy was to perform as the headliner of the evening. The weather clear, the air silky on my skin. Bass thundered, echoing in the canyon of buildings. People stood or sat listening, bobbing their heads with the music. Those moving wound their way slowly, snakelike in the cool of evening.

The intersection was blocked, stage to the north, canvas sling seats filling the space south of it. Some concession tents and the “beer garden” took up much of Iowa Avenue to the east. We got blocked trying to move through, to find our friends. A two-step here, a triple-step there, not in keeping with the music… We dodged others as we moved.

Jim got caught. I side-stepped the blockage and kept moving, him behind me at that point. I stopped a few feet away, when I reached the corner. I stood next to a man so I wasn’t in the way, and looked down or around or … something. When I looked back, Jim was gone. He’d passed me and I couldn’t see him. I couldn’t see him crossing the street, and I couldn’t see him going down the sidewalk. He was just gone.

I waited but kept looking, and started to feel a little panicky. Nothing too bad would happen — I knew where we parked our car and in the worst case I could just go back there and wait for him. But I still couldn’t see him. I thought about how we never take our cell phones when we’re together, because we’re together, so we don’t need them. So I couldn’t call him or text him.

Helpless, I waited a few minutes, just looking for him.

All of a sudden he was with me. He’d thought I was right behind him, and then I disappeared from view. So he stopped to wait for me. He hadn’t followed me at all.

We were only a few feet from each other, but there were so many people we couldn’t see each other.

Losing him, even in such an innocuous way, rattled me. It was a vision of aloneness I’ve no wish to recreate.

We’re home. We’re fine. I lost him, but he found me. And we’re where we belong. Together.