13 December 2007

A Brief History of a Long Love Affair

Some excerpts from the love story of my life

Chapter 1

In which the fifteen-year-old Hero and Heroine exchange glancing blows—the Hero’s, a pointed quip from Oscar Wilde followed by the insinuation that Heroine would languish virginal forever; the Heroine’s, a sharp kick to the shin with a very pointed shoe.


Chapter 5
In which Hero and Heroine go away to college, Hero to Tennessee, Heroine to Maryland. About a year goes by. Heroine is completely over Hero, a fact she is determined to prove when Hero calls out of the blue during a school break and asks if she wants to do something. Hero and Heroine go for burgers, drive around the countryside for a while, and end up making out in Hero’s dad’s station wagon. Heroine learns that determination isn’t always an adequate defense.


Chapter 7
In which Heroine graduates from college, begins a series of love poems for Hero, some of which will be familiar to our readers, and travels to visit on Hero’s birthday, thinking she will look for jobs in consideration of moving to Knoxville. Despite Heroine’s feeling that she’s getting a bit of the cold shoulder, Hero and Heroine finally do it. The results are rather unremarkable, but at least Heroine can feel satisfied that now she really is finally over Hero. It isn’t until some months later that she learns that Hero had been in love with someone else at the time.


Chapter 8
In which Hero and Heroine fall into the habit of a phone call every six months or so, often at a moment of crisis for one or the other of them, most often for Heroine. Heroine meets the man she will most unfortunately decide to marry, though not until after moving to Florida to get an almost entirely useless master’s degree in poetry. At some point Heroine finishes the series of thirteen poems (thirteen for the number of days between their birthdays) she has written for Hero and sends them to him. Not too long after her wedding, which our Hero does attend, Hero and Heroine and Husband attend Hero and Heroine’s high school reunion, hang out getting drunk together, and end up crashing at Heroine’s parents’ house. But Hero does admit to Heroine that he always thought they’d end up married, at which Heroine asks whether he thought she would wait forever.


Chapter 13
In which Heroine finally files the divorce papers and faithfully calls the police whenever Bozo shows up at the Airstream where she’s been living. It is still many months before she is granted a divorce, since Bozo will not open the door to be served papers. But happily, in the meantime, she has run into Hero online and found that he has not, in fact, changed his phone number, and it was only by some fortunate accident that his number didn’t work when Bozo dialed it during the last stages of his attempts to manipulate Heroine.

>>Read more, including the happy ending

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