Recently an acquaintance-- let’s call him John-- told me that they had broken up with their girlfriend. The reasons for the break up were familiar to anyone who has ended a relationship; there was a sense that they had drifted apart; the sex had diminished; the good times, which had been so numerous, were replaced by bitterness and fights. I barely batted an eye hearing this all. After all, I had lived it before.
As the night lingered on and the number of empty pint glasses piled up, John opened up a bit further. He felt pangs of regret over his decision. He had imagined many different lives with his ex. Beach trips to Dubrovnik at 80, absurd, nostalgic dreams for children that will never exist, of afternoons spent on dreamed playgrounds on suburban streets, of quiet nights in darkened bedrooms where they make love even after 30 years of marriage.