Saturday, September 24, 2011

A separate peace

Lord (Phillip Stanhope, 4th Earl of) Chesterfield, British statesman and wit, was born on this day in 1794. He wrote:

"The only real and lasting peace between a man and his wife is doubtless a separation."

   He didn’t say anything to her, and a couple of days later, while drinking at Irene’s after rugby practice, he’d got in a deep conversation with Rae Ann Jefferson, and had ended up going home with her. The next morning he’d got up and gone right to work, and that night he’d gone straight to Irene’s and hooked up with Rae Ann again. This time he’d gone home, in the middle of the night. Eleanor had come out of their bedroom.
   "Well, I guess this is it, isn’t it?" she’d said.
   "I saw you," he said. "I saw you with that guy."
   "He’s a friend. We sit and talk. He listens to me."
   "I don’t listen to you?"
   Her mother was standing in her bedroom doorway, Sully surmised. At least somebody was listening.
   "Who is he?"
   "Just someone I met."
   “Do you love him?” He was trembling.
   “What can I do?”
   “You spent the night with him.”
   “We talked. We sat in the parking lot and talked.”
   “What’d you find to talk about?” She looked at him sadly. “Because I can’t think of a God damn thing to talk about.”
   Three months later he and Eleanor were divorced, and Sully had moved into a two-bit apartment above a hobby shop, within walking distance of Irene’s.
                 -- Chapter 6, The Misforgotten.

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