The Successful Marriage

“My marriage is a complete success,” she says without a trace of boastfulness or pride. “Do you understand what that means?”

“No, ma’am,” Landsman says. “I’m not sure I do.”

“In every marriage, there are things,” she begins. She shakes her head once, and the veil trembles. “One of my grandsons was at my house today, before the funeral. Nine years old. I put the television for him in the sewing room, you’re not supposed to, but what does it matter, the little shkotz was bored. I sat with him ten minutes, watching. It was that cartoon program, the wolf that chases the blue rooster.”

Landsman says that he knows it.

“Then you know,” she says, “how that wolf can run in the middle of the air. He knows how to fly, but only so long as he still thinks he’s touching the ground. As soon as he looks down, and sees where he is, and understands what’s going on, then he falls and smashes into the ground.”
That’s from Michael Chabon’s fairly recent crime novel The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. It is good enough a read (6.5/10), but thoroughly disappointing if you expect anything like Chabon’s three early masterpieces, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Especially The Mysteries of Pittsburgh! Boy, what a book!

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