Sunday, August 28, 2016

336. Pairings

“Do you think if you had it all to do over, that you would have gotten married?”

Uh, oh. C.W. was obviously playing one of his little tricks on me. I looked around to see who might be within earshot, and saw no one. “Sure,” I said, then I raised the volume a bit. “Absolutely.”

“To the same woman?” He had, by the way, assumed a new form he has grown fond of lately. He calls it “Leon the Neo-Liberal.” I can’t really describe it. Just imagine Johnny Depp playing Stephen King in a movie.

“Of course,” I said, nearly shouting. “Why do you ask?”

“Just curious,” he said. He toyed with his wrist-phone, raised it to eye level, looked, and said, “Why do members of your species get married?”

We were sitting in the living room waiting for full light so we could take a walk. He came in as I was writing, and I had to quit to answer his questions. I thought long and hard before framing my answer to this one. “I don’t know,” I said. “Companionship?”

“Have you read what your Apostle Paul had to say about it, marriage that is?”

“He was against it, I think.”

“Pretty much so,” he said, “unless you were weak in spirit—lacked ‘moral fiber’ so to speak—and had found a woman you just had to …”

“I know the conditions,” I said. “It’s better to marry than to be tempted into immorality.”

“Quite so,” he said. “How long have you been married?”

“Forty-four years,” I said. “Why are you asking me all this?”

He ignored me. “Mrs. Big Dope says it seems like it’s been longer than that.”

I ignored his jibe. “You know what a joker she can be.”

“So why did you marry her? I mean how did you come to pick her? Did you do an internet search or something?”

“There was no internet then,” I said. “One scoured the bars, Sunday schools, and fast-foods hoping for the best.”
It's like they say, I suppose.
The grass isn't greener on the
other side. The grass is 
where you water it. - C.W.

“I heard that,” a sleepy voice boomed from the next room.

I turned to C.W. “Can we change the subject?”

“So why did she take you? I mean you obviously lacked moral fiber.”

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Was she desperate or something?”

I lowered my voice and moved closer to him. “Well,” I said, “she was past sixteen, the official age of spinsterhood in our state.” Then I raised my voice. “She could have had her choice of men,” I said, “but in her infinite wisdom and kindness, she saw something in me.”

It was his turn to think. “I wonder what it was,” he said.

“You wonder,” the voice from the next room said. “How do you think I feel?”

“I think I may be talking to the wrong person here,” he said. He rose and left the room. I heard him say, “Pardonnez-moi jeune fille. May I have a word?”

I just groaned and tried to go back to writing, but I had forgotten what I wanted to say.

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