The Flesh’s Weddingnby Tom DiscbnIt is with the flesh, as with most other marriages,nThat a time comes, a middle age, when the bond loosens.nNot a divorce, necessarily—fondness may persist—nBut there is not that knot of simple unionnThat appetite ties in our honeymoon years.nWe begin to get fat in a different way than we got fatnIn our pococurante thirties, when, however muchnWe ate or entertained, we still worriednAbout waistlines and went to a gym. Now we know it’s no use.nWe have become painfully aware of all the ways our fleshnBetrays us, and those who can afford the preposterous feesnBegin to visit exotic professionals — periodontists.nPlastic surgeons, barbers with a sideline in toupees.nThe divorced often seem to suffer less.nBut you will notice how many of them become alcoholicsnAnd smoke like chimneys, clandestine anchoritesnFlagellating livers, lungs, and hearts in lieu ofnSpouses lost. The happiest are those who’ve never wed.nWho always recognized flesh as an encumbrancenOr simply didn’t recognize it and jetted ahead.nSnug in the 747’s of pure reasonableness, sippingnThe vile complimentary wine, oblivious of everythingnBut the fluffy clouds below and the books in their laps.nnnAUGUST 1991/15n