December 3rd, 2016. From a letter-
Somehow the days have quite dissolved, and we’ve been married a week. The time has run through our hands like water: how bittersweet that happiness is the fleetest experience of all- and our wedding day was the quickest, most transcendent experience I have ever had. It was heavenly. Setting sail on our very own moon river. And off we go.
Right now, at this moment, this apex: counting our blessings feels like counting the stars.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
All our love,
Paula and Andrew
From the bad old days to our happy, wild, perfectly-imperfect apex, man, who'da thought. Then again... some people saw us coming :)
Andrew is one of my younger brother's dearest friends, and has been for most of their lives.
This is a younger brother who, as Andrew always tells it, prefers to keep his peas and carrots separate. So fourteen years ago, when Andrew started talking about seeing me on a porch at a party, talking about 'anti-establishment-tarianism, or whatever', Robert was pissed. I guess they knew it before I did, that the attraction between us would be instant and irrepressible, once I only started looking back.
My Andrew is wild-hearted, deep-spirited, with a wolfish soul to match my own, but he is loyal as the rising sun. Our alliance is the one I've always dreamt of, "like the sun and moon, free to go far from one another, yet crossing every night— each forever circling the other. That is a real marriage— a marriage made of eternity. Not a metal band simply wrapped around fingermeat.”
The times when I think he understands me least are the times he knows me best of all: he is strong enough to give me the room to fuck up and figure it out, so that each of us is growing up all the time.
He's the cleverest, craziest being I've ever met, my very own trickster King, and anyone who thinks he's just out for a lark always ends up loses their shirt- but grinning anyway.
Because Andrew is that rarest, lovelist creature of all. The irrepressible Coyote-King you end up admiring even when he's just bested you. For his sheer, shameless joy in just being alive, feeling good- and always closing.
He lives his whole life as a work of art. I fell in love with him over the dinner table, that very first date. Sure enough, our second or third (you know, blurry) was looking for our first apartment. And crazy-love or not, now here we are, with blessings.
Andrew put it best. As we stood up in front of our friends and family (and that's my dear, beloved, beloved father up above, marrying us, right after my wonderful brother David walked me up to Audrey Hepburn's reindition of Moon River):
"I can't promise this will be easy, but.... there's a poem I'd like to read to you, from Pablo Neruda:
'I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.'"
I love you so, my sweet beem beem.
As I said to you then, I'll say it again here- you are my sun and moon, the stars in my sky. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life making yours a heaven on earth.
And nah, it won't be easy- but you know that already- oh well! We'll hold each other tight.
And yes, Ry Calhoun from Candlemoth is based on Andrew! Go buy it already!
P.Z. West's first novel, EVENING’S LAND, is a Library Journal Self-e Selection, winner of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Award and recipient of the Carol Marie Smith Memorial Scholarship for the NOEPE Center of Literary Arts.
Pauline West's books on Goodreads
Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance
ratings: 27 (avg rating 4.04)
ratings: 24 (avg rating 3.46)
Candlemoth Volume 2: How To Spend It
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.40)
Candlemoth Book 3: A Twist of Fate
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.17)
Stalker: A Gothic Thriller
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)