A Holy Fire
As one marriage nears, another comes to an end, and in both cases a submission to scrutiny is required.
My friend Matt paid me a visit to confide his anxieties about his impending marriage. “I wonder if I’m cut out for the whole thing, the enormity of it,” he said. “It’s not hesitation about the person, just a reckoning with the profundity of the challenge ahead, even in the best of circumstances.” He ticked off a list of four busted marriages among his circle of friends that had occurred during the past year. One bereft husband was currently crashing on Matt’s couch in Chelsea, with fifty bucks to his name and a vague plan to move to New Zealand. It was as if matrimony presented not the possibility of gain but the certainty of ruin, “a bargain with devastation,” Matt called it.
My own marriage had recently unraveled, and I was temporarily living on the top floor of a six-story building in the far northern reaches
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