42 Years ago, coincidentally on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, I married for the second time. I was 29.

Jimmy Carter was President, standing for re-election against Ronald Reagan. The issue, foremost in everyone’s mind, was the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The Shia Muslims led by The Grand Ayatollah Khomeini had overthrown the Shah of Iran, a US puppet. Eventually the Revolutionary Guard stormed the US Embassy and took hostages. Carter’s futile attempt to free the hostages through a bungled rescue mission, sealed his fate. The Reagan era would begin on 21 January 1981, my 30th birthday, with the freeing of the hostages by the Iranians.

I digress. I got married, as much to have guilt-free sex as anything else. I convinced myself I was in love with Ayer. I probably was, according to the primitive ideas about love that filled by brain.

The marriage revolved around alcohol, my failing career in commercial insurance, and attempts to have a child. Miraculously we adopted a newborn in 1988. Six years later, we got sober, then we divorced. I began a new life in sobriety.

Twenty one years later, Ayer would die of cancer. She was 66. That was November 2, 2015. Later that November, I would undergo a spinal fusion. I would never work again.

That’s a short version. That’s all I’m capable of right now.

The pain is still too great.