When we were very young adults, C said to me, Marriage is a trap.
Of course, being who I am, I argued against that, turned her mind away from such youthfully unjustified cynicism, became affianced to her, and the two of us had a marvelously close relationship -- friends and young, experimenting, clumsy lovers -- until, eventually, we broke up, each of us feeling the tidal pull of attraction to and from others.
I started a 'Christmas card' relationship with her in our 30s, then solidified it during a vacation she took out here with a man she was sweet on -- a witty guy, what I myself would consider 'friend' material -- just before she was turning 50. Great time, the four of us.
They got married, her first time.
A while later -- couple of years -- he, a younger man, the truest one of a string of younger men, a type in whom she had come often to show interest, he was discovered in flagrante delicto doing the deed with a woman, likely a flame-haired hottie more his age.
The divorce lingered long, made life all sour, and she lost much of the wealth she had inherited from her favoring 'maiden' aunt, including the Florida house.
The savage bitterness, in almost insane outbursts, held over into her dealings with all men, even me, though I had been nothing, really, beyond a distant 'old friend'.
What oracle had it been, then, back then at the start, to orient her, to govern her choices, to juxtapose her appetite and her aversion in such a way as to make inevitable a 'tragic fall'? Whence fate?
Marriage is a trap.