On summer days in New York, when so many folks are dining at outside tables, my wife and I play a game. She will take a seat and dine alone. She's a beautiful, stylish woman, so people look at her. Usually, she ignores such attention, but when we are playing our game, she smiles at everybody. She encourages their interest.
Then I walk past, pretending to be busily on my way to somewhere. My wife will pretend to be surprised to see me. She'll call out my name, and I will turn, see her, call out her name, and rush to her.
We pretend to be ex-lovers who haven't had any contact for 20 years. She is recently divorced from the man who stole her from me. I've never married because nobody could compete with her ghost. And now, after two decades of separation—she in Australia, me in Los Angeles—we have accidentally run into each other in Manhattan. What a coincidence! What a surreal bit of faith! What a miracle!
Weeping, laughing, we kiss each other in full view of the restaurant patrons. At first, it's a polite display, but it soon grows torrid. We perform a fully standing dry-hump. And just when it seems we will get naked and make love on the sidewalk, we run away from the restaurant. Holding hands, we pretend this is the last scene of a Broadway musical. We skip and twist and leap into the air.
Many in our audience suspect we are acting, but some completely believe in us. Those folks need this kind of love to happen. And so my wife and I pretend to love each other much more than we actually do.
Yes, this is how we save our marriage, by lying to the world and all the hungry people who inhabit it.