February 14th, 2006

guyster tat2

Happy Valentine’s Day, Guyster

“Keep your eyes closed!” I was guiding him into the living with my arm around his shoulder; his eyelids pressed tightly shut. I lead him to the front of the mantle. “Okay. Open ‘em.”

“Oh, no! You big dummy.” He was half blushing, the other half smiling a goofy smile of disbelief. “Stop it!” He turned around and smacked my chest.

I’d taken an old photo of him when he was a seven or eight-year old holding his dog as his dad stood behind them. It was one of the few childhood photos he had, and one he’d only recently found. It had been two weeks since I had the picture enlarged a hundred times its original size and framed to put over the mantle in our new home. I wanted it to dominate the room, or maybe I just wanted the shot of Billy to define it.

My surprise managed to do both, and he turned to kiss me a bristly kiss. He was never very good at fighting back tears, and tonight was no exception.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Guyster.” He kissed me again, hit me again and stood back, his arms crossed so tightly they threatened a pout, to look at the giant image that had once only existed in a torn envelope near the bottom of an old trunk.

I’d like to think that’s how it would have happened today. It could’ve, you know.