At some point in your life, if not more than once, you ask yourself: how in the world did I get here? I think about my first meeting with Paris at a time in my life when I thought I couldn’t figure things out. I was only 23 years old then. Now, I’m 39 years old and yes, I am asking myself – how did I get here?
Jason is long gone and married to some real estate agent. Last I heard, he’s still in Virginia. I’m on the other side of the country, in California and also married. Tom works as a sound engineer with various music artists and has taken me on more adventures around the world than I ever imagined. We will celebrate our 16th anniversary in June.
The truth is, though, Tom is tired. Not of me, thank goodness. He’s more tired of this traveling sound engineer business. What was at first exciting and glamorous has increasingly become a rat race and Tom has finally decided to come off the road. Plus, Tom recently saw his future. He was working a show with The Dirty Heads and got to know a bunch of guys who have been roadies for a very longtime. He described them as having significant hair loss, potbellies, and either divorced or not marriage material.
“I don’t want to be like that,” he says. “I’m looking into other things.” He breaks the news like it’s no big deal, like an article buried on page 5 of the paper. I fight to keep my lips from tightening. Over the years, I’ve gotten used to the roadie life, of his coming and going and, most of all, of traveling.
“What will you do?” I ask. I am sitting at the dining table, watching him cook. I’m glad he has his back turned toward me. I have “that look” on my face. My lips have tightened.
Tom slowly stirs the spaghetti sauce. I’m thinking, there will definitely be a lot more spaghetti dinners when he’s off the road. At least I like Tom’s spaghetti. He makes the noodles al dente, like the pasta we ate in Rome. That trip was in the middle of his tour with Lady Gaga.
“I have a few things I’m trying to do,” he says. Tom’s strategy is to apply to all his options and go with whatever one works out first.
“Well, are we still going to be able to travel? I ask. Memories flash in my mind: monkeys in Bali, kangaroos in Australia, Mount Fuji, the Eiffel.
“Yes,” Tom says as he uses tongs to twirl some noodles onto a plate.
“Don’t worry,” Tom says. “You will see your beloved Paris again.”