She’s been in love with him since she was four. That’s when she knew he played guitar. His hair was long, and brown, but curly and only to the ends of his ears. And he had droop-down eyes like her dad. Like that Army picture of her dad, his face so serious.
“I’m going to marry him, Mama,” she said week by week behind plate glass windows that steamed up so bad in winter she had to scrape the frost away to catch him.
“I know, baby,” Mama said, sometimes hearing.
In summer times the girl sat on the front porch playing Barbie and Ken. When she saw his truck she’d make the dolls kiss. Or she’d borrow Mama’s black dress with the pin prick flower print and hike the waist up so she wouldn’t trip. She wore big, floppy hats with yellow bows.
When she was ten she listened to her sister’s records, cut up old shirts into dresses and matched bobby socks with pumps. She still waited on the porch, but he never came by on weekends when nobody else was home, so she paired off with stuffed animals dressed in her dad’s left over slacks and button-down shirts, and danced like Olivia Newton-John.
She caught his eye at fifteen as his hair was turning gray.
Butternut squash soup and corn bread, six kegs of beer, and a German chocolate cake down by the lake. Her dog Peanut for a flower girl, his three kids in Sunday dress. His old band got back together for the night, and she danced like Olivia Newton-John.
Mama couldn’t wrap her mind around it, how her little girl grew up and married the garbage man.
Due to some transcontinental headbanging, Lynne Collins and I came to terms with, “The men who take our rubbish each week.” We don’t know enough about these men, but my daughters watch them from the window every Thursday morning. So far, they’re content to marry eachother.