Set-Up Vignette

Epistolary love affairs didn’t have the same ferocity as those conducted in the flesh. At least that’s how Jeremiah Scotland saw it. He’d been involved in both and preferred the latter, as they were more satisfying, in the physical sense. Yet he acknowledged the superior intellectual timbre of the former. Take, for example, his years-long relationship with Marianna Martin, a tall, big-boned woman whose husband, a graphic artist, suffered from macular degeneration. He knew of Marianna’s height and skeletal structure only through their exchange of letters, the same way he knew of her husband’s problems with vision. It was through their correspondence, too, that he had come to understand her peculiar perspectives on love and commitment. Jeremiah knew more about Marianna and the way her mind worked than he ever knew about the ten women with whom he had enjoyed affairs of the flesh. If truth be told, Jeremiah would have said he loved Marianna more than he loved any of his wives or paramours.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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