“Breakfast,” Second Draft

I am holding a styrofoam cup, resembling the sliver of moon I was on that hot July morning. I am outside myself, slipping into something completely unknown. My ring finger remains barren, and two white flecks paint my middle right finger near the tip. Here I am, in one of my favorite pictures of the first photos we took as a couple, on that morning we ate at the bar of your neighborhood diner.

I am awkward and un-showered, my hippy length brown hair hanging in strands around my thin, pale face. You, sit to my left, dipping a Southern biscuit into creamy chunks of mushroom gravy. I remember looking down at my plate of greasy toast and stray scrambled eggs, pushing my fork around as small talk.

We weren’t even a couple yet, actually, and for this reason, the photo of my hands nursing something lukewarm in the hot July sun seemed sweet and more intimate than I felt.

This was how you wooed me, slowly, and way to quickly, over breakfast, Sunday after Sunday. Until my hands naturally gravitated toward yours.


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It took me a long while to consider the title for this blog. I wanted something that defined me both as a person and a writer. A name that would also perhaps speak to a particular audience. Why “The Astronaut Wife?” Since my early days of blogging, I have leaned toward more of a confessional style of writing, to some degree. I write as much truth as I can muster at each phase of life. In addition, I also come from a conservative Southern family, and I have grown very far from those roots. You could say I have rocketed to the moon in terms of my upbringing. I have rocketed away from debilitating family dynamics, from worldviews that held me beneath a rock. In my thirties, and now my early to mid-forties, I have learned to live more comfortably with both sides of the moon and write just as much about the raw, dark places as the light ones. Don’t quote me on that, though. It’s quite likely I will lean more heavily toward one or the other depending on which way the wind is blowing. Then, we get to the wife part, and quite frankly, this is where the feminist in me bucked and brayed. Identifying myself as “wife” has felt simply stymieing, particularly since becoming a mother six and a half years ago. But if the truth is going to be told, being a wife to my particular husband has altered my entire shape and has given voice to much of the inner deep. So in fact, becoming a wife was the singular most life-changing moment for me in my journey to the moon and back. Fellow travelers, you can feel safe and comfortable here. What matters more than what you might “get” about me is what you might take for yourself.

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