The Rock in the Grate
from All The Funny Little Packages: A Husband Meditates on the Mysterious Craft of Marriage
by Ben Miller
An outlandish luxury of innumerable stops and starts, elegant fade away shots and excruciating close-ups—that’s one definition of a long marriage I’m able to embrace.
In a week it is possible to together make enough mistakes to get off-track for years, with more years afterward to regain momentum or meander again in stupid old, or nasty new, directions. No other elective relationship takes a simple clock and does such absurd things to it because no other elective relationship is so exclusive (save possibly a third grade friendship), concentrating, while simultaneously diffusing, time. A marriage that lasts is a stirring that is also a settling, a haze and a lens finely ground, and through the smoky glass I peer again. In the ordinary course of affairs there’s not much place for muddling around in the riddle of what a life actually is, while all—even dullness, and especially riddles—can be useful to art. Words, the brightest ones, burn any fuel. Pages can talk to us about us like no human being.