Why do we choose certain kinds of pain over others? Is it because the pain of leaving is uncertain, and the pain of staying is a known variable? Or do we believe in our own endurance, believe it is holy, that it will make us better people. That martyrdom pleases God.
I met Maggie in person twelve years to the day since I’d left Leo. One of us happened to be in the other one’s city, and we arranged to have hipster coffee at a place with corrugated tin on the walls and succulents on the tables. Neither one of us had ever been there; the … Continue reading Letters from Maggie: An Unlikely Correspondence. Part 6
Other women tell me I have a high tolerance for bullshit. I’m not sure if this is good or bad. On one hand, I didn’t do myself any favors by sticking it out with Leo for nine years—unless there’s some super-grande, el-Cosmico design I can't see. I mean, one hopes. And when one hopes, one … Continue reading Letters from Maggie: An Unlikely Correspondence. Part 5
Leo loved pornography. Enjoying it alone was his primary sexual outlet. He wasn’t even particularly secretive about this predilection: like I had been, Maggie was expected to simply accept it.
Sometimes I am still afraid of Leo, even after all these years. In the early days of my correspondence with Maggie, I often feared she’d do the very thing I’d encouraged: leave him. I worried he’d discover I’d influenced her decision. That he’d find me and punish me. In a way, I’m writing this to … Continue reading Letters from Maggie: An Unlikely Correspondence. Part 3
I thought, in some convoluted way, that if I could persuade her to leave sooner than I had done, I was somehow saving the ghost of myself.
Seven years ago I received a Facebook message from a woman I’d never met. I’m Maggie*, she said, Leo’s girlfriend. I found some of your old things in the back of a closet. Photos, some poems you’d written. Seems like stuff you might want. I can mail it to you if you like. Leo wouldn’t … Continue reading Letters from Maggie: An Unlikely Correspondence. Part 1