Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Divorcee, or "Virginia Slims"

"I just love life!" she told me as she lit up a long, pungent Virginia Slim. 
I looked at the cancer stick questionably, but decided to ignore the ironic remark.
"That's good to love life," I said dumbly, because nothing else really came to mind. "Are you single?"
She took a long, pensive drag. As she exhaled the smoke, all the other answers to my question — lies she could have told me, questionable not-quite-answers — seemed to linger in her frothy, perfumed cloud of exhalation. 
"No," she said quite adamantly with a bob of her head. "No I'm not. Yet. I'm in midst of a divorce. Life is life, you know? And I love it. And I'm quite happy about it."
She was deeply depressed. 
"Did you know I haven't had sex with any other man besides my soon-to-be ex-husband in almost five years. Five years of sex with only one person!" she threw her head back and laughed. "Can you imagine?"
"No," I said honestly. "No I cannot."
"It's all so dreadfully boring. How people slosh through over forty years of marriage is beyond me, quite literally. I'm not saying that there is no true love story, but I think they're rarer than what our puritanical society admits to. Everybody wants to feel special. Only a few people are. The others are simply told they are."She sighed. "At best, we're all just a bunch of Kardashians without the cameras."
I laughed. She was jaded beyond belief, and it was attractive to me. But I guess that's what a twenty-nine year old soon-to-be divorcee looked like: a post-youth drained of all optimism until they deflect all what they used to represent.