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Point of View: About Keeping Long Company

Thu, 03/09/2023 - 09:55

Chaucer, though it’s not known if he was a feminist, created female characters in his “Canterbury Tales” who wanted — the Wife of Bath being a chief example — the same thing men wanted in a marriage, which is to say sovereignty, or, at the least, shared sovereignty.

“Lovers must each be ready to obey / The other, if they would keep long company. / Love will not be constrained by mastery,” The Franklin’s Tale says early on, words that should be taken to heart.

Thirty-two years ago, on Valentine’s Day, I wrote, “As with a carburetor [do they still exist?], an ever-so-slight periodic adjustment is required for smooth running. . . . Things will work out if you want them to. . . .”

I was interested then, and am interested now, in the mixing and remixing of ourselves, and there’s no better feeling than when we’re in tune. Mary’s mother used to wonder at the fact that we talked so much with each other, and I’m happy to say that that continues to be so, sharing ideas being an underestimated version of intercourse, one that perhaps inevitably becomes all the more pleasing as time passes.

She is forbidden to go before me, I being the needier of us two. I wouldn’t know what to do, I would be at sea, cast adrift.

If all has gone well, we’re on vacation today, sitting by the sometimes pounding Pacific surf reading under palapas. As for vacations, I don’t object to periodic changes of scene as long as I’m with her.

We’ve been to this place, first discovered by her older sister and late mother many years ago, a number of times, and I guess that it’s the ease we feel there that continues to draw us. There are no constraints there that would divide us. Nirvana.

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