Desolation, destruction, despair. Those are the words we sometimes come up with when we describe the unhitched conditioned. There were times for sure when we were perched in the comfortable nest of married life. Society has a way to subtly, and sometimes not so subtly, prescribe an endstate to Love.

This prescribed state, steeped in the hyper-focus on procreation and raising of children, spins a yarn, weaves a net, or if you will, sows a tent that aims to herd behavior and normalize society until you sit at an elementary-age soccer game (at the YMCA of course!), and whether you look to your right or your left, you see blond ponytails sipping Fiji water while encouraging their spawn at a specific migraine-inducing frequency that spontaneously makes you scratch yourself just so that you can make sure that you are alive and awake.

And then one day, while, perhaps grooming the front lawn of your yard in the gated community or counting the plants to make sure you fit in the mold of the prescribed HOA rules, policed by retired founts of misery, you let yourself think the unthinkable – “I am desperately unhappy in my marriage.”

And then you promptly leave that thought behind like the digestive produce of a non-conforming neighbor’s dog. Because the deeply-nested levels of societal comfort and conformance have become your prison.

But you find yourself sometimes sampling the sweet nectar of an Orwellian rebellious thought, perhaps while at a Christmas dinner of some neighbor that decided to make up for a year of ignoring you, with an invitation to a party where you know nobody else, and where his slimy artificial friendliness has you hunkering in the living room under the cover of a too-loud 90’ televised football game of who-the-fuck-ever playing nobody-cares. And at that moment you long for the pure emotion of being in love.

Back in the relatively predictable groove of family routine, you enjoy the relief of at least knowing everyone around you but with that comes the realization that you and this person that you procreated with, are now like strangers to each other. There comes a point in a relationship where you fulfill your duties like soldiers – not out of a place of love, respect and the joy of a loving family but out of a sense of duty. That phase is when you are beyond the fighting, beyond the couples therapy, beyond the angry sex (if you are into that), and now you sit there staring at the tv but not registering a thing you are seeing because you have become aware that deep inside you a fuse has been lit.

You become aware of that fuse when you realize you are now as old as when you thought your dad or mom was old. You become aware of it when you realize your high school sweetheart has changed just like you have changed but the problem is, you have changed into people who are no longer compatible.

At some point, when they have fought every fight, meticulously distilled every argument and still came up with no way forward, then people retreat, each to their own corner of the oversized, keeping-up-with-the-neighbors, monolithic structure, masquerading as a family home.

It is then when the burning fuse becomes a forest fire because… we become distinctly aware of the phase of life we are in, and then we ask ourselves the question that is like a gallon of gasoline – “is this how I want to spend the rest of my life?”, which by now is probably only a few decades – and that realization that we are in the vicinity of the second half of our lives is what makes us start to resent all the trappings of suburbia.

And then we experience that emotion of longing for some real connection. Where the sheer proximity of another person makes your heart race so fast that it thunders in your ears. That emotion is like leaning over the railing of society. I have seen that some individuals satisfy this very-common emotion by discreetly fucking around in the otherwise holier-than-though neighborhood. It is like the Fiji water of emotional and testicular release – keeping it in the family of blond ponytails, and back-slapping, fantasy-football following, over-weight used-to-be hunks. Turning even that illegal emotion of an affair into something cheap and shallow, something still somehow encapsulated in the wretched Truman show you find yourself in.

And then one gloriously f…..g blessed day you look into the eyes of some creature you would have sworn is ordained to exist by the personal command of some deity……… and you think to yourself, so this is how the suburban farce ends.

How the end comes after that, depends on personal circumstances and personality but I have seen it, experienced it, and heard about it so many times that I know this is the elixir we live for, we long for, like a Fiji-waterboarded victim knowing it is about to burn every false construct of a manipulated society down to the frigging ground…. until you have just two rather poor individuals staring into each other’s eyes and nurturing a passionate kiss.

This is 51…