What a fool she had been to fall in love with a man, any man. For a brief time the way Michael had made her feel thwarted her chronic nihilism. He had filled her with that most evil thing—hope. Michael resembled Clark Kent from Superman. He was tall and muscular. Dark, curly hair fell forward on his high forehead, framing an intelligent face with a cleft chin. Horn-rimmed glasses topped off his profile. Sarah had hoped the marriage vows would be kept, and furthermore that the two of them would always inhabit that euphoric state known as “being in love.” It had lasted for a year or two, and then somehow, the connection had slipped away. Sarah found herself living with a man who would do anything for her except the one thing she needed. In short, he had stopped making love to her for over a year before the end. Once she saw that the magic was gone forever, she ended the marriage although her married friends all seemed to have accepted that it was natural for the romance to end, and that a descent into a comfortable sort of brother-sister arrangement was fine. They didn’t understand why she would give up such a good and decent man and risk being alone. Was it “good and decent” not to try to meet the other half of a relationship halfway? She wanted a life filled with romance—and she had never felt as alone as she did on those sexless mornings. The worst was knowing that he hadn’t wanted to try. He kept saying that he couldn’t, but a book she read to try to understand his behavior stated bluntly that “couldn’t” meant “wouldn’t.” She keenly remembered the dreadful recognition when she’d read those words.
Today was the worst so far. Well, it was a Sunday. She felt like the Little Match Girl in the fairytale, who is not allowed to come in out of the snowstorm until all of her matches are sold. The child dies, unloved and unnoticed. Sarah felt the Little Match Girl’s pain and could not comfort herself. She just had to wait it out, and usually this agony would pass into her unconscious because she was too busy prepping a new cooking job. Thanksgiving was the beginning of one of her busy seasons.
*****Want to get to know Marilyn Horowitz? Want a chance to win your own copy of The Book of Zev? Come back Friday for your chance to win!*****