Its Valentine's Day, so there should be talk of love bandied about here. In conjunction with the day I was reading a bit about F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre. Now the story is about their love, but it also included descriptions of them as drinking heavily or alcoholics, insanely jealous and given to do outrageous things to vie for the other's attention BUT the story adds, they stayed together until his death.
I often reads stories like this, many times in conjunction with famous literary people, and I almost always come away with the impression that the writer show these characteristics as examples of great passion. Oh they always fought, they are so passionate, that sort of thing.
But the thing is, as a member of the Force I knew hundreds of couples like this. It is not a good thing. And as for the sticking together part there were times I almost begged people to split. "But we love each other!" would often be the reply. Some people are like oil and water and passion not withstanding, love isn't always enough (and that is with out getting into the arguement about whether it was love - jealousy is not about love, it is about possession).
I just can't think of describing many of the incidents I dealt with as "Passion", at least not in the good sense. "Clare, do you want to go down to the Park, Chocolate John and Maria are drunk and fighting again. She hit him with a hammer, the ambulance is on the way." Ah, what passion! What love.
As an aside, Chocolate John and Maria are/were real people. Although they had a house to live in they were essentially your typical rubbies. You would first see them early in the morning searching for bottles and cans to turn into cash to buy wine, lysol, hairspray, or what ever would get them drunk for the day. They occassionally found themselves in our cells. One of my favourite stories came after I was there for a couple of years and had seen these two on an almost daily basis.
One of the first duties when you'd get in at the start of your shift was to go down to the cells, check on the prisoners, and see who had to be released. I went in one summer morning an Chocolate John had been picked up for being drunk. As he was gathering up his effects he asked me what time it was and I told him. "I'm late for work." came his reply. Work?? "Yeah, I'm a Heavy Equipment Operator working on the paving project." To say the least I was dumbstruck. Scared to be on the street anywhere around the paving crew, but dumbstruck nonetheless.
But I digress. This was supposed to be about passion and "firey" relationships, so one more quick story to get us back on track. In the same community as Chocolate John and Maria was another couple whose story was similar. Often drunk, constantly bickering, jealous and out and out fighting. We were often called to intervene. One or the other had invarably assaulted the other. Finally one day I had enough and asked why they stayed together if they couldn't get along. They answered with the usual "We love each other."
I told them that that wasn't enough and that they could no longer stay together "I divorce you. I divorce you. I divorce you. There you are no longer husband and wife." They looked at me and then each other and then I let them out of the truck.
Incredibly, calls for service involving them dropped away completely and one day I saw them walking hand in hand down the street. They waved me over frantically when then saw and recognized me driving by. "We just wanted to thank you" they said, "We get along a lot better since you divorced us". The divorce didn't take of course, but there was peace for a short while. Perhaps they had briefly lost their passion.