Yes, as Rhett had prophesied, marriage could be a lot of fun. Not only was it fun but she was learning many things. That was odd in itself, because Scarlett had thought life could teach her no more. Now she felt like a child, every day on the brink of a new discovery.

When we sat down to eat I took inventory of the people in the room, and the remnants of my good mood evaporated when I realized how very little I had in common with them – the career dads, the responsible and diligent moms – and I was soon filled with dread and loneliness. I locked in on the smug feeling of superiority that married couples give off and that permeated the air – the shared assumptions, the sweet and contented apathy, it all lingered everywhere – despite the absence in the room of anyone single at which to aim this.

The difference between sex with David and sex with Stephen is like the difference between science and art. With Stephen it’s all empathy and imagination and exploration and the shock of the new, and the outcome is… uncertain, if you know what I mean. I’m engaged by it, but I’, mot necessarily sure what its all about. David, on the other hand, presses this button, then that one, and bingo! It’s like operating a lift – just as romantic, but actually just as useful.

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