We were in the elevator when Bob leaned over and unexpectedly kissed me on the lips. “I think the book has made us closer,” he said. “It’s been a springboard that’s brought us back to the beginning, when we first fell in love.”
This was the beginning of a short but startling observation. After three decades as New York’s DA, my husband is someone immersed in facts. In a sense, he is The Fact. His whole life has been spent putting away white collar criminals who would have escaped into the ether had Bob’s brilliant mind not extracted the hidden facts and figures behind their labyrinthine money laundering.
On the other hand I can count on my fingers the times Bob Morgenthau has commented on the nature of love or marriage, birth or death.
“You know,” he continued with a sly smile, “all the talking we’ve done about our relationship while you were writing ‘Timeless,’ it’s reignited it. We’re on fire.”
I think that is why I was compelled to write a memoir about our marriage. Life collects on itself like pile after pile of sticky dough. But if you plunge into the amorphous mess and take it apart, discover, organize and record memory, your life begins to take shape. You see cause and effect, arcs within arcs, and Geronimo, it all makes some kind of sense.
Quintessential New Yorkers, we usually pass each other like trains rumbling down different tracks. While he hurries off to work in a shuffle of papers, I am often tearing out of the apartment because I’m afraid I’ll be late for an interview or because, like most of us city dwellers, I rush from point A to point B for no discernable reason.
We both happen to be workaholics and that means even weekends are fractured. I’m constantly writing while he is up at our Fishkill Farms store helping to order varieties of apple trees or inspecting the cider-making operation.
Should we both be at home of a night, we will sit down to share some wine and conversation only to have one of our cell phones ring.
We had to slow down. While I was writing ‘Timeless,’ we spent long hours together discussing and putting into perspective the events of our 40 years together. It was a time of contemplation, reflection; an understanding of things we could never understand before and the joy that remembering the good moments brings.
I had to find out how he really felt, for instance, when he bloodied his toes digging up oysters for me on a riverbank.
I remembered urging him to ignore public opinion and indict Bernard Goetz, the popular vigilante who shot five African American boys on the subway. He recalled how he stole my computer to keep me from obsessively reading the vitriol that followed the praise I got for landing an interview with Hillary Clinton on he Monica Lewinsky scandal.
I had to find out the inside stories of two of his bizarrely successful cases which involved a murderer without a body and a rapist without the rapist (the DNA ‘footprint’ of the rapist who terrorized the city was indicted until he was located and arrested).
Bob was my cohort in putting together my memoir and we relived in full color those days when we were infatuated with everything we did.
“We were lucky. We remembered why we fell in love in the first place and then fell in love a second time,” Bob smiled. Then he leaned into me but the elevator opened to the lobby before he could kiss me again.