Monday, August 24, 2009

Love is a Mix Tape

My two favorite quotes from the memoir "Love is a Mix Tape" by Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield:

I suddenly realized how much being a husband was about fear: fear of not being able to keep somebody safe, of not being able to protect somebody from all the bad stuff you want to protect them from. Knowing they have more tears in them than you will be able to keep them from crying. I realized that she had seen me fail, and that she was the person I was going to be failing in front of for the rest of my life. It was just a little failure, but it promised bigger failures to come. Additional ones, anyway. But that's who your wife is, the person you fail in front of. Love is so confusing, there's no peace of mind.

(I think it works even better, somehow, when you substitute "parent" for "husband" and "child" for "wife.")

Human benevolence is totally unfair. We don't live in a kind or generous world, yet we are kind and generous. We know the universe is out to burn us, and it gets us all the way it got her, but we don't burn each other, not always. We are kind people in an unkind world, to paraphrase Wallace Stevens. How do you pretend you don't know about it, after you see it? How do you go back to acting like you don't need it? How do you even the score and walk off a free man? You can't.

And now on to Mrs. Dalloway, which is a little more challenging as the bedtime reading goes . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment