Thursday, April 30, 2009


I've been thinking about marriage. Not mine, past or future. The idea of it. Rather, the need of it. Because we do need it. Even the early Soviets figured that out -- they discovered that old-fashioned morality was the only thing that would hold their revolutionary society together. We'd smile about it, only all the spilled blood of Stalin's murder victims sort of dampens our appreciation of the irony. In any case, it is not good for man to be alone. Women may handle it better -- their drives seem to be somewhat different. A man's drive would lead him to carnal knowledge of ... well, I don't need to paint a picture. You know how men are. We need marriage to keep us human. Duty and devotion ennoble us. Otherwise we're just pigs.

I say this as a man who's been alone for longer than I wish to reveal. So I think I understand something about drives.

I had business once with a fellow over the phone, and he had to say something as an aside to his wife, and the tone of it was so harsh that I knew, correctly as it happens, not only that their marriage was in serious trouble, but that it would soon be over. The business I had in this situation was damaged catastrophically by the attitudes that allowed the marriage to reach such a state. Yes, I'm being vague. My point has something to do with death. Marriages should not be killed.

You loved her once, so deeply it hurt. You would have done anything for her. You loved to make her laugh. It filled you with warmth and joy. You couldn't stop smiling. Well. We get used to it, and we take it for granted, this relationship. I've got her. She's mine, now. I can relax.

But you can't. Neither of you. In a debate over which of you is stupider, you'd both lose. Because you're debating it, which makes you too stupid to win. So sad for you, being so stupid. My IQ is 197. The fact that I have a former wife who screamed at me for her divorce is neither here nor there. Nevermind the apparent inconsistencies. Didn't I just prove how smart I am? 197, baby. Every time I impress myself with some brilliant idea, I add a point. Out of modesty, when I reach 210 I knock it down to, uh, 132 and start again. My ex wife hated it when I did that.

I'm sorry. I'm doing it again. Absurdity is necessary to me. It's an excuse for laughter, which is a way of gaining perspective while releasing tension. My tension drives me to these pages, to share with you what I think I know. What I think I know is that you need to love her with all your heart, and let her know it as if your life depended on it. You won't turn into me, but you'll feel more pain than you want to deal with, if you don't.

Don't ask me. I'm hopeless. Do something nice for her. Give her something. Tell her how beautiful she is to you. I don't know. All I have is failure behind me. I think they like romance. Put some music on and walk up to her and take her in your arms and dance a slow dance for no reason at all. Or because you love her, and want her to know it. Man. That's a good idea. 198.

Tenderness matters. If you have it, treasure it. Because I will hear it if you don't. And I can kick your ass, if I need to. What, that's absurd? Maybe. Let's not find out.


1 comment:

bob k. mando said...

on the matter of the husband's love for the wife, i always like to juxtapose these two passages:
Mark 12:31
...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself..

Ephesians 5:28-29
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: