05 May 2010

oh, captain

In a brief exchange, as Paul got out of the shower this morning, and I got in, our thoughts intersected with words...

PAUL: What was the name of that Michael Jackson thing at Epcot Center.

ME: Hmm?

PAUL: Captain Nemo? Neo?

ME: Uh... Captain E-O

PAUL: EO? Oh, I thought it had an N.

ME: No, I'm pretty sure it was EO. I don't imagine it's still there.

PAUL: Why not?

ME: Well, I don't know. Hmm...

And then our exchange was over, and I shared my shower and my thoughts with a man I have not considered in a long, LONG time: Captain EO.

What was that whole thing ABOUT? I wonder if it is still at Epcot Center. Does anyone still go to Epcot Center? Or was it Disneyland? And Michael Jackson, I wonder how that guy is... Er, was. Where is he? Does he still have thoughts wherever he is? Does he ever wonder about Captain EO? "What was I thinking," he might still be thinking. I hope he's not. I hope his soul is at ease and his mind is at rest.

To the contrary, my mind was racing as I massaged shampoo into tight curls and swayed in and out of lukewarm water considering this captain. EO was born around the same time as my vivid, sequential memories -- in or around 1983. '84? Those were good years.

Naturally, I was left guessing about my water heater... and about the early morning train that departed Paul's dream and stopped at an amusement park in Florida...
and about exactly when it happened that I became someone who wistfully says things like "those were the good ole' days..."

Captain EO... hmmm...

Paul is re-reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea... Captain Nemo... ah hah. In another post-shower exchange, he (Paul) confirmed my suspicion (obsessing). Mmm hmmm. So why am I not only still thinking about our conversation, but recounting it in great detail?

Well, I don't know. I suppose it struck me as... well, funny. Rich. This is the stuff that mornings and marriage are made of. And I suppose to me, it mattered. It matters.

Captain EO started a train of warm thoughts that traveled through Washington to Florida to Germany to California to Colorado and back to Washington. It trekked the terrain of 30 years of my history (Michael had an album called that, right? HIStory. Clever) and back to the present.

This morning I remembered the Michael Jackson poster my dad brought home for me from London. The one where his eyes
(Michael's, not my dad's) are lined in mysterious kohl, he is wearing white pants, a canary yellow vest and a matching bow tie. I loved that poster. I used to kiss that poster. And now I kiss Paul. And I feel thankful for him (and for my dad... and for Michael).

I wondered what he (Paul, not Michael... nor my dad) was like the first time he read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Did he actually read it or was he of the Cliff's Notes variety? I haven't read this book, and although Paul is rapt in it, I have little to no desire (definitely leaning toward no desire) to pick it up. I am intrigued, however, that he did... again.

Paul is enamored with the water. He lives near the sea once again and smiles a lot more. A few weeks ago, he went sailing... perhaps this is the journey that led him back under the sea. I wonder what he (Paul) was like when he first encountered Captain EO. Did he ever have a Michael Jackson poster on his wall? If he did, I am pretty certain he never kissed it, but I also wonder if he had a poster that he did kiss in the early 80's. Madonna perhaps?

Paul is reading 20,000 Leagues and countless other books on his Kindle -- another mysterious thing -- another difference between my husband and me. This past Christmas, when the Kindle passed through my hands and landed in his, he began reading again. Voraciously. Incessantly. I too love books and most things classic, but I prefer to experience life with pen and ink, on paper and in pages. I always have, and reckon I always will. This perplexes him.

Books and this man who reconsidered Captain EO this morning -- he who is re-reading stories of Captain Nemo and who may or may not have kissed a poster of Madonna, but most assuredly kisses me -- these are the things I think and thank about. They have shaped me.

I've spent fourteen years of my life with this man (you know the one), and for reasons still unknown, our random exchange this morning reminded me that I still love him, I still learn from him, and I still wonder about him. And I wonder about Michael Jackson. And I wonder about that poster. I loved that poster.

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