Dating in the 19 s

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I’ve had my air- conditioner stolen, inherited an Eames chair, expanded my music library a hundredfold, and made a dear friend, who, now that our fledging romance has failed, will be with me for life.

For it wasn’t long after reading Cendrars in bed beside my sleeping spouse that I began to realize that I was slowly losing track of who I was and who I wasn’t, of what I believed and what I didn’t.

That spectral ex-spouse of mine used to complain of what he called our “heteronormative” lifestyle, a term that made me roll my eyes though I knew just what he meant: Our lives had lost their capacity to surprise.

I remember lying in bed and reading the memoirs of the French writer Blaise Cendrars; I couldn’t stop marveling at the boundlessness of that man’s existence, one that made him a film director, a beekeeper, a watchmaker and connected him to gangsters and whores.

When I was in my early 30s, my husband of four years, partner of nine, left abruptly in the middle of the night.

In the surreal weeks and months that followed, I grew increasingly apprehensive about the idea of online dating.

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