Relationships and marriage

Of love and hate

Relationships and marriage

There have been three Susans in my life. Only one stuck with a neurotic vagabond like me.

The first Susan was a beautiful viper. After five years of love and lies (on both sides) she broke up with me on a bitterly cold New Year’s Eve outside Bloomingdales in Manhattan.

She said she would be spending the night with another man, some rich guy in advertising. I begged her to stay with me, I whined and wailed but to no avail. She turned and walked away, colder than the wind that whipped down Third Avenue. I realized later that our relationship had been built on quicksand. (I wrote a highly fictionalized story of it here,)

The second Susan was a blonde snippet in California. I lived with her in a high-rise apartment building on the beach. Near the end of our two years together I was out of work, writing the endless never-published not-great American novel.

After spending the day on the beach while she was at work, I saw her come home and drive her car into the underground garage. I gathered my towel and my book to go up to the apartment. I looked up to see her lean over the sixth floor railing and throw my canvas suitcase over the edge. “Get out of my apartment and get out of my life!” she hollered.

The cheap suitcase busted open when it hit the pavement and my clothes were blowing all over. I managed to retrieve a pair of jeans and a couple of shirts and left the rest for the homeless souls that wandered the beach.

End of story, end of a relationship that had been built on sand.

The third Susan saved my impoverished ass and my totally fuckedup life, and ultimately my actual life. We had many great times, in America and abroad, and also our share of rough times that would have broken many marriages. But she had a big heart and an unbreakable commitment and she put up with my bullshit and manic depressive moods for thirty years. That was a relationship built on a rock. (I wrote about it here.)

As I’ve mentioned before, she deserved a medal — a Croix de Guerre seems appropriate. If it had been awarded, it would have been posthumously, after her death four years ago. For me, four years of a void that will never be filled.

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