Sometimes when people read an essay or a memoir they think they know more about the writer’s life than they actually do. They might speculate or wonder, or, if given the chance, ask the writer something that falls outside the boundaries of what was written and shared. But there’s a firm line between what is written and what is lived. Sometimes the best response to these speculations is to tell another story.
When my Modern Love piece “War Weary from a Dangerous Liaison” came out, a family member confronted my husband at a party: “How do you feel about this?” she asked — but it was more of a disapproving challenge than a legitimate question. I was standing next to him, blushing hotly, ready to say something about boundaries (see above) when my husband, a prince among men, said, “Did you read the essay? Because she married me.”
Readers, I did marry him. And I am perpetually happily grateful I did.
That said, here is “The Heart as a Torn Muscle,” published today by the magnificent Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction.