25 Years

Today officially marks 25 years with my best gal, best friend, and bandmate. I’ve always been a little private about our relationship in a way, because it’s something so personal. We got together approximately a year after I was in a traumatic, life-changing car accident, and now all these years later I have a grasp on how damaged and vulnerable it left me. I recently wrote a song called “The Great Swim,” based on the title of a short story Mary Alice wrote before I moved to Hawaii in 1997, about her swimming the Pacific Ocean to be with me. There’s a line in it where I say “I was a baby when you were a kid,” which initially came to be in a dream, and I interpreted it as a description of my state of mind when she and I came together. I was 18 and she was 17, but the trauma of my accident had mentally regressed me to a much younger place. That's part of what I think makes our bond so close. Not only was she the girl I fell in love with, but she had a hand in rebuilding me as a person, and that’s something that’s hard to express. That’s partly why I’m glad we didn’t have a wedding with all of our weirdo relatives, because it all feels too personal. Our eloping to Las Vegas in 2003 even seems odd to me, because I don’t think she and I can be defined in that manner. Like Del to Neal said about his wife in Planes, Trains & Automobiles, “Love is not a big enough word.”