This past Saturday I went to a concert with my sisters. We saw Chris Isaak at Chateau Ste. Michelle. I’ve seen him in concert before, and he always puts on a great show. Because I know he’s very comfortable with the audience, very funny and generally super-sparkly on stage, I wasn’t anticipating to get blindsided by anything.
When will I learn?
About midway through the show, he started to play Wicked Game. That’s the one song of his pretty much everybody, even non-fans, knows. Even with lyrics like “I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you,” I never really thought that song would be painful. And then I looked up.
A couple, if I had to guess in their late fifties to early sixties, were slow-dancing to that song. There were other couples dancing too, but this was the one that got to me.
They held each other so tightly, these two. They looked into each other’s eyes, and smiled. I thought of the times Tony and I danced. I thought of one time, in particular, early in our relationship. His boss had been traveling and had brought him a CD. I can’t remember the artist or the song, but I remember Tony putting it on in the morning before we left for work, and grabbing me and dancing me around the room. I remember smiling so hard my face hurt afterwords.
Watching this couple I thought about what could have been mine, if things had been different. If Tony had reached out for help instead of doing what he did. If he hadn’t allowed his illness to consume him. Twenty years from now we could have been holding each other like that and dancing on a summer night. Instead, he is beneath the ground and I am here above it, missing him.