This is the only picture of our wedding that I have access to on the internet. We did not actually wear moose heads at our wedding.
The inimitable Dr. Deieuew came into being while the Palinode and I were dating more than a decade ago. We were playing a round of Scrabble one afternoon...
I have to stop mid-sentence to point out that I look very fondly upon my memories of playing Scrabble with the Palinode. You know those jokes about how women never perform fellatio again after the wedding night? Well, if you replace "women" with "the Palinode" and "perform fellatio" with "Scrabble", it's true. After we were married, he confessed to not liking Scrabble at all and only using it as a tool to seduce me. This nerd who wears a Scrabble tile pendant feels so betrayed.
Anyway, we were playing a round of Scrabble, *sniff*, and he had the letters DEIEUEW on his rack, which struck us as a rather funny name for a Belgian doctor. Why? There is no why. There is only funny when it strikes two foolish people falling in love with one another. He became "the inimitable Dr. Deieuew", because what would Dr. Deieuew be if not inimitable, especially since the pronunciation of his name places emphasis on each individual letter while being drawn out long and snooty-like through the nose?
The inimitable Dr. Day-ee-yew-oo-ee-yoo.
I pretend that I look like a snobby, rat-faced, old lady with a lace collar up to my earlobes while I say it in order to get the pronunciation just right.
This memory all leads up to my texting about the inimitable Dr. Deieuew to the Palinode the other night. I had forgotten the exact spelling of the name, so I while I tried to work it out, my iPhone's autocorrect function was going through some rather mysterious phonetic contortions to try to figure out what I was typing, and it settled on "Furioso".
How autocorrect settled on Dr. Furioso, I have no idea — it is not ours to understand autocorrect's ways — but I have been thinking about Dr. Furioso ever since. Is he, too, inimitable? Does he know our inimitable Dr. Deieuew? Is he an Italian colleague of the inimitable Dr. Deieuew, or, perhaps, even an alter-ego, a clever flip-side foil to the inimitable Dr. Deieuew's inimitability?
It is deep matters such as these that occupy my brain when it comes to matters of love. It is my tenth wedding anniversary, and all I can write about is the inimitable Dr. Deieuew and the mysterious Dr. Furioso.
This kind of misdirection has long been an issue for me when it comes to matters of romance. The first time the Palinode told me he loved me, it went something like this:
"I love you," he said.
"My shoelaces are dirty. I think I need to bleach them," I replied.
I am a fan of love, and I am sappy as can be, but any direct mention of love and sweetness aimed at me has me pointing in the opposite direction and shouting Look over there!
By all of which — Scrabble, the inimitable Dr. Deieuew, Dr. Furioso, and my dirty shoelaces — I mean to say that ten years ago today, right now, the Palinode and I were saying I do just as two swallows swooped above our heads as though to say Yes, and I would never go back, I would never erase one moment of our ten years together, not the cancer, not the broken back, and not the myriad other slings and arrows that time has thrown at us like depression and alcoholism and whatnot, because I am, all of me, better and brighter and happier with him than I ever hoped I could be before I knew I loved him.
Thank you, Palinode. You have, quite literally, given me my life. You foster possibilities I could never find alone. I love you.