Wednesday, January 18, 2006

You can't have one without the other

My marriage has entered a particularly stable stage in the last few months. In truth I can only speak for my half of our marriage. My half of my wife-and-I's marriage has entered a particularly stable stage in the last few months. The specifics are these: we continue to agree about the best way to raise our daughter; we understand and sympathise with each other's respective difficulties with each other's families; I accept my wife as a separate but similar individual when we are alone together rather than doing that freaky thing where I forget this and somehow consider her as an unruly extension of my greater self; when I talk to other attractive women I am able to reason that my life would be substantially less comfortable if I were with them rather than my wife.

The most important point, I suppose, is that I have come to see these changes of perception not as defeats, but as footholds on the greasy rockface of the abyss.

That was my Jack Higgins moment for today.

Here's a thing. I am disgusted with myself for my cosmic ignorance with regard to the hot political issues of the now. But not so disgusted that I'm prepared to do anything about it. I get the New York Times in my inbox every morning and I skip over the current affairs section to look at the interesting stuff. People have dismissed me as glib since I lost my political conscience almost twenty years ago. And they were all absolutely right to do so, excepting those who said "glib" when what they really meant was "drunk". I still consider myself vaguely of the left, but then so do Suzanne Vega and Natalie Imbruglia. I am absolutely captivated by trash, as long as it's well done. This might make make me an aesthete in a fin de si├Ęcle sense, but I suspect that what, Huysmans notwithstanding, it makes me, is irredeemably, unforgivably shallow.

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