What Carl Says: On Never Fighting

Together 41 years and married 37 of them.

“I don’t know why anyone would do it more than once,” Carl told me.  And then, with a fresh silence, we stood there looking at one another, the memory of my last song’s introduction sinking in–

“Here’s one I wrote about my first husband.”

“We made a pact,” Carl continued, pushing past it, “that if one of us decided we wanted to leave the other one, we would have to kill ’em before we moved on.”

“Oh. Sounds hard.”

“I can count on one hand the number of times we fought in those years of marriage,” he finished, proudly.

“Thank you for coming tonight,” I said.


My Someone told me later that for 36 of the 37 years, Carl’s now-late-wife was dying.  Something in the kidneys.  So they spent their time never fighting and always loving and, now, on this side of it, can tell a couple of newlyweds that there is a bar, and that bar is themselves.

I told my Someone that it was unfair– that it would be easy to always love and never fight when your partner is dying.

Two beats.


“But we are both always dying.”

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