It was a tough and exhausting day. We’d put it off too long but wanted to take advantage of a sunny temperate fall day for tackling the garage – the boxes damaged last winter when ice dams backed the early runoff onto the garage floor, the items left along the garage walls by the previous owner, the boxes hastily thrown together from my parents’ last apartment before they moved to assisted living. They’re both gone now; no one will need most of what they so tenaciously hung onto all those years.
Physically moving things was easy. Emotionally? Not so much. My father’s high school newspaper columns? The gift cards from my mother’s baby shower before my birth? Stacks of yearly engagement calendars carefully inscribed with the daily temperature, the list of what was blooming, what birds were sighted, what the weather was like, what was harvested from the garden, for over forty years? We cannot keep and store it all; each item we let go of was saying goodbye all over again.
Together we kept moving through it, and by the end of the day we were finished. As we stood in the middle of the garage surveying our handiwork, my husband put his arm on my shoulders and said, “Guess it wasn’t a very romantic day.”
But that’s exactly what it was – the kind of devotion, caring, respect and hard work that knits two people together and keeps romance burning deep within. Sometimes I think as writers of erotic romance it’s tempting to focus on eroticism as the heart of our work. Erotic moments matter, greatly, and they keep our fires burning too. I believe their power – in our relationship, and I hope in much of our erotic romance – has its roots in the kind of day we spent this weekend. Romantic enough for me!