What do you think?
Rate this book
231 pages, Hardcover
First published February 7, 2017
Between two people, there will always be room for failures of imagination.
As my life with Christopher began to recede into the past, everything that I learned about him—a meaningless detail from his new life, a revelation from his past one—was a source of potential discomfort, causing a pang of greater or lesser pain, or even occasional indifference. This was the process by which two lives were disentangled, eventually the dread and discomfort would fade and be replaced by unbroken indifference, I would see him in the street by chance, and it would be like seeing an old photograph of yourself: you recognize the image but are unable to remember quite what it was to be that person.
The past is subject to all kinds of revision, it is hardly a stable field, and every alteration in the past dictates an alteration in the future. Even a change in our conception of the past can result in a different future, different to the one we planned.
Perhaps wife and husband and marriage itself are only words that conceal much more unstable realities, more turbulent than can be contained in a handful of syllables, or any amount of writing.
At the time, I was like any young person looking at an old person—even if I was not that young, and nor was Christopher—and like any person who cannot believe that they will grow old, much less die, I could not believe that our marriage could become like [my in-law’s] marriage, much less fall apart completely….[Their marriage] might have been a terrible marriage, built on betrayal—although what was really meant by the word terrible, there were betrayals that looked unforgivable from the outside and that were nonetheless forgiven, and there were forms of intimacy that looked nothing like the name—but it was nonetheless a marriage. Whereas mine had ended….One of the problems of happiness—and I’d been very happy, when Christopher and I were first engaged—is that it makes you both smug and unimaginative.