Tag Archives: marriage

How to win at God

So, my husband’s a total atheist.  I am not.  Let’s say I am agnostic, for the sake of simplicity.  The other day we were talking about what happens when we die.  His answer, of course, is nothing.  My answer is, well, TBD.  Although I think it would be the finest joke in the universe if the light you go towards when you croak is in fact the opening at the end of the birth canal of your next mother.  As in, there is no transcendence, no dead relatives waiting for you at the celestial arrivals gate, you don’t get to look up any of the Big Answers at the Askashic Library, you’re just unceremoniously pulled out of your meat suit to be dropped straight into another that you’re going to have to wire from scratch to walk and talk and remember shit.  Ha!  A freaking infinite hamster wheel.

Anyway, we were talking about what happens when you die, and I posited to him something I’d like to share with you.  It’s called Pascal’s Wager, Douche Bag Version:

You should believe in an afterlife because, whether or not there is one, you win either way.  As in, if there is an afterlife, I get to find my husband in spectral form and go, “Ha!  Suck it, atheist!”  Whereas if there’s nothing and neither one of us exists, he doesn’t get to lord it over me.  Sad, no?  So, the moral is: Believe in God, it’s the only way you get to win the ultimate marital argument.

marriage, sampled

Cool web stuff: guest post at Indie Reader Houston.  Also: my story is going up in installments every day this week at Five Chapters.  The photos are kind of messed up right now, the original image files were all FUBARed.  Today I managed to get high-def jpeg captures off the word document and sent them along to the editor, so the image problem should be fixed by tomorrow.  Hey, you know how in scifi movies, they can boot up a computer unearthed after a thousand years with no problem? Begs the question of why you can’t get the data off a CD from 2003!

This week, my husband apparently knocked the socks off one of his co-workers who hadn’t previously known that he is married to a novelist (NB my husband is a scientist).  “How do you live under the same roof?” the coworker said, “what do you talk about?”

An interesting question.  So, let me provide a series of random samplings from my marriage:

Me, bemoaning the loss of my youthful flat tummy: “Man, it used to be concave–what the hell happened?”
Husband: “Well, it’s concave from the inside; you just have to invert the coordinate system.”
“Dude. Repeat after me–‘you are as beautiful as the day I met you.'”
Husband, touches the side of his face with big toe
Me: “HOLY SHIT YOU CAN DO THAT?”
Husband: “I’m as surprised as you are!”
Me, some remark including the phrase “bringing home the bacon”
Husband: “If they’re paying you in bacon, you need to get a better agent.”
Placeholder title on academic paper, “Super pimp-ass clever title: with colon and possible pun”
Husband’s edit: “If you turn it in like that, I will give you five dollars.”
“Elena, did you really eat that muffin with the flecks of white mold on the top?”
“Dude, this is why I have a stronger immune system than you.”
“This movie blows enormous chunks of ass.”
“So you’re saying, at some point, this movie ate a spoiled ass.”
“At least I didn’t fart on you again.”
Quoting pretentious windbag blurb on the back of a book: “”Müller scatters narrative bombshells across a field of dreams.”
Riposte: “Müller lays down a creeping barrage of luminous prose to cover the advance of an infantry of hope.”
“Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are–hey why the hell am I singing that?  Were you humming that earlier?”
“Ayep.”
“SPOUSAL ABUSE!”
Husband, comes home from business trip
Me, fitting myself into his arms: “I don’t like it when you go.”
“I know.  I don’t like it either.”

Twelve years and counting.

kill me as many times as you like

Ahoy!  I have been remiss in updating this blog for the last couple of weeks.  There hasn’t been much to report, 13-rue-Thérèse-wise, since the galleys have gone out.  I hover in an anxious Limbo waiting for reviews to start coming in, trying desperately to keep my brain from chewing on itself.  I’ve been reasonably successful at doing that by giving it In the Red to chew on instead.  I have been working on this unyielding book.  It is a very, very testy text but I think eventually some good will come of it.  It is, as I am, obsessed with palimpsest.  So, that is quite expected.  What is less expected is that it has some pungent opinions about American capitalism.  I couldn’t quite describe them as unqualifyingly negative; that would be too simplistic.  Let’s just say the text is working on this problem.

The text also has a lot to say about wedding rituals.  That imagery keeps cropping up all over the place.  Ditto imagery about executions.  The two sets of images are, of course, related.  The link is not a new one–nevertheless there is something weird and compelling at work here.  A preoccupation with ceremony.  Symbolic clothes.  Performed gestures.

Money.  Not just as a concept, but as a physical object.  The cloth-like weave of cash, the smell of it.  The transfer through many hands.  The stolid gazes of dead presidents.

There is less sex than I was expecting in this book.  But in another way there is more sex than I was expecting.  Again, difficult to explain.  I should say: so far there has been less graphic description than I was anticipating about bodies doing what they do, but there is a sort of arrested attention in the gaze of the narrator on the world itself that is very sexual.  Not emotional, but intense in a denuding way.

A trinity of men: Bad, Worse, and Worst.  And the narrator doubles herself infinitely inside all the other female characters, inside allegorical dream figures.  The narrator, the blasted creature named Irina with a name that doubles my own so obviously that it’s embarrassing.  Last week the text introduced yet another double for her, a Russian mail order bride named Elena.  The moment gave me pause.  I looked at the book and said, really, you’re not serious.  It smiled at me quietly.  Radiantly.  And I knew that this frail girl with my name will have to die, given all the execution images.  How that I will happen I don’t know, but the destruction of her body is an inevitability.

So you want to symbolically walk me down a dark hallway and shoot me in the back of the neck, Soviet-style, hm? I said to the book as it showed me the pink dress with tulle overlay Elena had on at her quickie Vegas wedding, the delicacy of her collar bones, her heart-rending youth.  You intend to kill me, do you?  Well, then, kill me as many times as you like.

As long as you make something of it.