I’m not afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
I’ve been thinking about death lately.
Oops. Sorry. That wasn’t a very nice way to begin.
I’ve been married a long time and I’m crazy about my husband and I can see that we’re getting old and I don’t want become a widow and I sure as heck don’t want to die.
That doesn’t sound so good, either. Maybe I should start over.
When you’re a young person just starting out, you don’t think about the “whole life, too” nature of marriage. You know about that “’til death do us part” business, but it’s not real. If you marry in your twenties, you’re still immortal. Looking back over the years, I see now that “whole life, too” is not marriage as a parallel track where you have a roommate with whom you have lots of fun sex, possibly children, and dinner most nights , but a cellular merger of wills and wishes; where compromises and ceding of time do not take away, but rather heap up so that in the “give a little, get a little” exchange, you become more of who you are, not less. At least, that’s how it’s worked for me, although I have my doubts as to whether that’s what generally happens. I’ve seen too many long-run marriages that wind up as a clawing away, a tearing down of each other, a desiccation.
I’m a writer married to another writer. We were many other things before we became writers. At the ages of 75 and 62, we are both hard at work on our first novels, and we feel the stench of time’s hot breath down our necks. Buck was once a working journalist; I’ve had several creative nonfiction stories published here and there.
I should be working on my manuscript this afternoon instead of starting up yet another blog.
But, like I said, I’ve been thinking about death.