Late on a Saturday night, after driving six hours straight from Knoxville to Memphis, I was working on a post, copying and pasting from an old, discarded draft. And I somehow accidentally published the draft. When I realized what I’d done, early Sunday morning, I changed the status back to “Draft,” hiding it again from view. But, as I’m fond of saying: fuck it. So here’s the original, unfinished post. Because mistakes are where the best of life happens, so why not own them.
When his fifth divorce was final, my friend John, who was actually merely an acquaintance and barely even that, said: I’ve finally realized I don’t want to share and cooperate.
We were sitting in Anne’s kitchen, Anne being the mother hen of the mother hen group that had adopted me not long after my first return to Memphis, 25 years ago. They were assembled in her kitchen because they were all hippie stoners and she had the stash, and they invited me to join them, even though I was much younger and only part hippie and not at all a stoner (too Type A), because the romantic match they’d made for me had ended badly, on Valentine’s Day, and they wanted to plot my next pairing.
John, champagne in hand, crashed the party to celebrate both his freedom and his enlightenment. His timing, in retrospect, was perfect. In all of the 25 years since that evening, I do not ever think of marriage without hearing the echo of John’s words, without thinking about sharing and cooperating.
This is the weekend when the Christian folks celebrate resurrection and redemption. It is an individual, private kind of acceptance, for the people who choose to make it, an individual acceptance of redemption.
The time leading up to Easter celebration is also a private time, a Lenten season, a time of reflection and reconciliation, for each individual to be reconciled with God. Many of us give up things in acts of penitence or take on things in acts of service.
That’s a great line. “I don’t want to share and cooperate”. He sounds like a man who’s going his own way.
Best wishes to you Jennifer. And your enlightened acquaintance John.
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