We've been together for a little over ten years now. That's a fairly long time—certainly, a long enough time for something like this to have come up. I would think this would be first-three-date territory, even. Instead, you decided to mention it a decade into our relationship—while we were at dinner with friends, no less.
Do you not see how poor the optics are on this? As a married couple, we're supposed to be a unified front. Before we even got the check, I could hear the other couples at dinner smugly talking to one another on their subway rides home.
“Just so you know,” they would say, “if I knew someone who was eaten by a lion, I would tell you right away.”
And these were our friends. I shudder to think what our enemies would do with knowledge of such profound division between us. If there were ever a time for them to attack, certainly it would be now.
I trust you will be the one paying to have our locks replaced?
As a married couple, we inherit everything from one another: the good, the bad, and the loose acquaintances who were gobbled up by jungle beasts. The second we placed those rings on our fingers, that person should have changed from someone you know who was eaten by a lion into someone we know who was eaten by a lion. That's how marriage works.
Have you shared this with your other lovers who came before me? What did you see in them that you don't see in me?
Do you think my dick is weird? Is that why? Would you have told me about this sooner if my dick was more, well, “conventional”? I wish I had that type of dick. I really do. I wish I had the kind of dick that screams, “Tell me about the time someone you knew got eaten by a lion.” I just don't. That wasn't in the cards for me. It's not the hand I was dealt, and you knew that when we married.
Do you understand what you have deprived me of? I could have spent ten years telling people I knew someone who was eaten by a lion. Do you know how good I would have gotten at telling that story over that time? I would have perfected it. It could have changed our lives for all you know. What if I was telling it at a restaurant or bar, and some rich guy overheard it?
“Heavens,” he would say, “what an absolutely marvelous story!”
“Mhmm,” I would say.
“I simply must have it—can I buy it from you?”
And just like that, we’re millionaires. Possibly even billionaires. All-cash deal right there in the restaurant. And the guy also has an accent and a very silly hat, and he even lets me try the hat on for a little. Do you see now what you have taken from me? Do you see what you have taken from us?
The other day you told me a two-hour-long story about seeing someone in Sweetgreen who kind of looked like Naomi Watts. You made me take my AirPods out.
I'm going to be honest with you: I don't know where we go from here. I really don't. There's no playbook for something like this. God knows I've looked. For now, though, I'll do the same thing I'd imagine everyone does after finding out their bedfellow has been withholding information concerning untimely deaths at the paws of a jungle beast: I'll turn to prayer. I'll pray for patience. I'll pray for understanding. Above all, though, I'll pray that another tragedy like what happened to that young man never happens again—at least not without me knowing about it in a timely manner.
In Equal Measures Love and Confusion,