“My dream has always been to sail into the sunset,” Sam said.
He was a dreamer, I thought, because how on earth do you expect to do that when you don’t even have a job, and now you are married and we have a baby, and I don’t even like boats. Actually I never have been on one except the rowboat in Stow Lake that my dad used to take me out on and show me how to row, sitting backwards, when I was little.
Whenever I heard that saying, “You marry someone exactly like your father,” I laughed, because Sam was a big dreamer who never followed through on anything. When we met he was going to art school to be an art teacher. Then he quit that when we got married so he could support me and the new baby, and took a job driving cab in the city. I don’t think he ever supported us, though. It was the house his grandmother let us live in for free. It was the money he got from his mother. And it was the start of the end when he met another taxi driver who turned him on to the drugs.
Actually the start of the end for me was the day I set foot in the church, the day of our wedding. If only I had known enough, if only I had been defiant enough, I would have run the other way, never stopping until I got to the south pole where I would have lived in an ice hut carved out of a glacier, and dressed in polar bear skins, and rocked my baby in a cradle made from whale baleen. He did sail off into the sunset, but it was only after the course of my own life shifted away, and I got to stand on the hard ground with my toes spread, gripping the earth with all my might.