Thursday, June 28, 2007
Yes, I'm stealing this from Karri's post on her fifth anniversary with this dapper fellow, but it's larceny with love, y'all.
Of course, this "fifth" business is a touch misleading as she and Bradley have been together since our undergraduate poetry workshop days, so a number somewhere between eleven and fourteen years is more accurate, not taking into account any break-ups, breaks, etc.
Time aside, and isn't it so easy to sweep away, I still recall the first time I noticed they were together or were on their way: outside the old campus bookstore, a few of us were gabbing and after a while Bradley and Karri left and took the stairs up the last bit of hill by the Guerry building. And watching them rise each step you could see it somehow, though they didn't hold hands or even touch. Something was in them you could see or sense somehow. The beginning of love is always sly and so I grinned.
I love Bradley and Karri. We were close in all those workshops. Two stories: Bradley is a couple of years older than me and when I was a senior in high school, already writing poems, I visited campus. Somewhere along the way I picked up several issues of the campus literary magazine, which was really quite good, but the poems that really stood out were by this guy named Bradley Paul. They were weird and not anything I'd read before, not in high school which was all Keats, Yeats, Whitman, Dickinson, and so on. One poem in particular called, of all things, "Sugartits," I think it was. Think of Tate but a little more ascetic. And it just blew me away. So you have this absurd situation of a high school poet totally digging, I don't know, a sophomore's poems. I'll never forget it.
And then there's Karri, who is sickeningly brilliant, a great poet, painter, and terribly funny and a great teacher. All of which are obviously repulsive traits. I'm not sure how Bradley can survive being married to this Einstein-ish babe. Just can't figure that out. Karri knows this story better than me by now, so she can correct me, but one night we were sitting in the Poetry Miscellany office, just hanging out. And somehow we found out there was this strange girl somewhere in the building, who we knew but didn't particularly want to spend time with. She would do things like show up outside your house and stand for hours in the rain. Or tremble a lot. But Karri needed to leave the office to go get something or work out or who knows what. I didn't want to leave the office and wait in the hallway until she got back. I also didn't want to be locked in the office alone, unable to get out if I had to. Neither of us wanted to give away that we were there with an unlocked and lighted office. So we came up with a plan: while she was gone, I'd sit with my chair against the door so it wouldn't open. In the dark.
And that's what we did.
So go wish Karri and Bradley a happy fifth anniversary.