Back of My Hand
My music collection was woefully inadequate to weather this kind of suckdom. And just when I thought I’d gotten the musical marcus triggers cleared from my car and iTunes playlists, on came “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane.
That goddamned song always reminds me of marcus, but not how you might think.
Late last spring, marcus called me from the car. He had the boys with him, and asked me if I had heard it.
“Of course, I love that song!”
“Max just sang it at his school concert today…I never heard it before! It’s amazing!”
That did it. Every time I hear that song I see Max, all of thirteen, standing on a stage, hair falling into his pale eyes, singing this lovely, wistful song in his still-small boy voice.
I can hear that voice, complaining from the back seat of the car as we drove together in October, how he had a ton of homework and didn’t want to go out for dinner, not to this place or that. How he’d lost his cool at times and been pissy to marcus or to his brother, Adam.
I think about our roles as single parents—
And that we’re all—our kids and their parents—trying to make sense of what our lives have become: All these relationships, these transitions between homes, incorporating new people into established routines, the stigma of “broken families.”
The fantasy of the three of us buying a farmhouse and raising our kids together was not so farfetched in my mind. Being a parent is hard. Being a single parent is very hard. It just makes sense to have back up.
Something to rely on.