How Men Die
Jack Preston King

True and powerful writing. But wait a minute. Either the character in this piece has married a mean and cruel woman, or…. I am old enough to have been here and recognize this scene from a woman’s perspective. This comment, the back, the smoking turned away from… All of these things don’t just happen. This is how women die too, indeed all lovers.

Anais Nin wrote, “Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.” In the movie Witches of Eastwick, based on the John Updike book, there is also a true line said by Jack Nicholson (the devil): “The husband runs around complaining to everyone that he’s fucking a dead person… and he’s the one who killed her!”

Who is to blame? One, the other, each, both together? Probably. There are missed cues and ignored things. Always. And anger. And too often the desire to strike back and hurt and kill, to make your lover pay for doing the same to you.

The couple here should try, if they can, to get back alive. But there is a cost. First both parties have to want it. And then they have to try, they have to REACH for each other’s hands metaphorically. And then they have to do the fun, happy stuff AND the real “let me listen and do my best to make this good” stuff. And if they just want to spout poetry in each other’s ears when they feel like it, and ignore the building and maintaining of a real relationship on the daily, then more of these scenes will happen to each of them turn by turn. Happens all the time. Happening right now in many homes. And the air reeks of death.

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