The Forever Marathon
Is longevity alone reason enough to stay together?
Jameson Currier's fifth novel, "The Forever Marathon", is a compelling, brutally honest examination of two days in the life of a long term relationship between two men, who seem to have stayed together more out of habit than their desire for each other.
Adam and Jesse met in graduate school and it was love at first sight. Flash forward twenty-four years to find the two former men of Manhattan now living in suburban Pennsylvania, where Adam is a successful psychotherapist, while the underachieving Jesse has adjusted all too well to the role of househusband and lavish party host.
What begins as a minor squabble on a routine Friday quickly escalates into a childish, mean-spirited, vindictive sequence of events, throughout which both men -- neither of whose behavior is beyond reproach -- ask themselves if this is the end.
When Adam's Porsche gets stuck in the parking lot of his gym, he accepts a ride to work from an attractive youngster, Shane, who first has to make a series of interesting pit stops. Jesse, meanwhile, makes a secret trip to New York City to visit with a "friend" and meet with a surgeon to discuss liposuction.
Apart from an endless series of heated voice mail messages back and forth, Adam and Jesse manage to avoid each other until the following day, back at home, as they prepare to host a tenth anniversary party for another couple. The previous day's carnage includes slashed tires, more than one trip to the hospital, a robbery, and a wrecked vehicle.
Like Adam and Jesse, I found myself wondering why this couple hasn't called it quits. Granted, each reminisces fondly about better times and happier occasions, yet they also fantasize what life would be like without the other.
Readers who are, or have been, in long term relationships can relate to this couple's struggle, which makes the story all the more powerful because it feels so personal. Nevertheless, one can't help but ask if this is the fate of all relationships, especially after twenty four years.
"The Forever Marathon" features the talented author's trademark prose that drips with emotion, a powerful story, and two unforgettable (albeit not necessarily likeable) characters, who remind you to either cherish or reexamine your own relationship.
"The Forever Marathon"
Chelsea Station Editions