It's odd how you become accustomed to people and the noise they bring with them. The sound of their jackets being taken off accompanied by a sigh, heels clicking when they walk, teeth grinding while they sleep.
It seems so strange to think about, the noise is so intermittent and transient, but it's always such a constant. Until it disappears of course, and then you have only the holes left by the sound to wonder about. And maybe a small desire to fill those little holes that suddenly emerge everywhere with the too-quiet, tappity-tap of a keyboard.
Romance can't bring this awful attachment to the particulars, not romance alone with it's silly love and roses. Romance can't miss the sounds of voices slowly treading upon old arguments, can't wait for the inevitable edge of annoyance at the same words again and again.
What do you call something that is more than romance? It is something that has long since lost any semblance to romance, but is better, more honest, for it.
It seems this sort of attachment is mostly found in old couples, old voices daily emerging from small, tired bodies to say what has been said daily for the last half-century. A slow good morning, complaints about runny eggs, rings-around-the-collar, rehashing of the past, avoidance of the uncertain terms of the future.
They have it, those old couples that fight incessantly, alternating snide comments under their breath with stony silences. At the end of the day, they walk hand-in-hand wearing matching velour tracksuits, looking for all the world like an 82-year-old Bennifer.
What do you call that?
It's more than complacency and far from contentment--Lord knows they'd change a million things if they could.
It's the unbelievably gorgeous pleasure that comes from routine, a deep rich purr that comes from waking every day with exact certainty about what the coming hours will bring. Waking each of these days beside the same turned back, the same cold feet pressing against your calves and the same grumpy morning-hater.
And though the knowledge is there in head and heart that they might not be the best match (and in all likelihood are probably one of the worst) there is the simple devotion to one person and all the noise they bring with them. All the clicking and grinding and strange ways bodies age, bringing with them more folds of skin and less colour. All the arguments and stony silences that fill the days from one year to the next until the days run out.
This is devotion and a more pure love than most today can even imagine.