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.

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

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.

The third Susan saved my impoverished ass and my messed-up 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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