Marenna once told me, after her second divorce, that I should not marry for lust. But she did not realize the opposite was true as well.

So, to this warning I would add my own: do not avoid lust and seek out an absence in hope
of an understanding.

She was sick of understanding: that is what my ex-wife said. No more explanations, just signs of affection. Not comprehension but affection. Such a simple thing. I think she knew deep inside that I never liked her. I was only fascinated by her moves.

A year later, we were legally divorced; she never contacted me again. I called quite frequently, hung up before she answered. I had things of hers that I wanted to return, to get them out of my life.

Then, two years ago, she changed her number and I stopped. I realized that she had left behind these things because she did not want them. I was free to do as I wanted with them and with myself. Then I found these wrapped in tissue.

The amber necklace and earrings were from someone she had spoken of once or twice. The note was brief. It was a birthday gift.

I keep them here, in a drawer wondering why I never gave her anything like this. I had never wanted to. I was repelled. But someone else had seen her like this: gold and amber, warm and malleable.

I wonder now if she thought I would pursue her. The obligations of love are never clear or fixed.

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