Sandi Sonnenfeld is Founder and Managing Editor of The Lyon Review. Her short stories and personal essays have appeared in more than 30 literary magazines and anthologies, including Sojourner, The Story Teller, ACM, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review among others. She is also the author of the 2002 memoir, This is How I Speak (Impassio Press), for which she was named a Celebration Author by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. “About Lime Jello” originally appeared in Volume 9, #1-2 issue of The Raven Chronicles: A Journal of Art, Literature & The Spoken Word.
Last Saturday, my husband Warren and I attended his aunt and uncle’s golden wedding anniversary party on Whidbey Island, an island located about ninety miles from Seattle. Though the happy couple, Dot and Wes, are close to Warren’s mother, I have spoken with them only a half-dozen times, and nearly always at some gathering similar to this one.
Married less than three years, I’m impressed by anyone who has managed to stay together for so long. As we pull into the driveway to the Catholic Church where the reception is to be held, I look at my husband’s profile as he negotiates the parking lot. I look at him for reassurance, hoping for a brief smile or a mild squeeze of my hand that tells me everything will be all right, to ignore the tightening in my stomach that I always get when I have to face a crowd of strangers. He does not return my look; his eyes are fixed on finding the right parking space, one that is reasonably close to the lot’s exit so that we don’t have to wait in a long line of cars when we leave.
Still this is why I married him. Ten years my senior, I thought that surely a man who carries a compass with him wherever he goes would be useful for a person like me who tends to get lost inside her head. I who cannot stop wandering around those messy crevices of the brain’s limbic region, ducking in unexplored caves, picking at half-buried wounds with a prospector’s axe, only to re-emerge moments later, blinking in the sunlight as I readjust to the external world.