Whatever Reality Means
There are countless ways to dodge reality. In my case, a wilfully public midlife crisis that let me shirk all responsibilities, flush my career and marriage down the toilet and embark on a series of disgraceful relationships that were entirely unfounded in reality – I pretended to be someone I wasn’t, they pretended not to know I was married and they also thought I had loads of cash.
Drinking, sleeping pills and, as a last resort, video games, they all help. Telling outrageous lies to strangers in bars helps too; for the drunken 20 minutes that we’re talking, it’s as though I’m living that outrageous life I just made up on the spot.
When I settle down again and go back to my long-suffering wife, I’ll pretend to her that I didn’t have a good time and was miserable without her. But I’ll remember it as the time of my life – wild oat sowing, hedonistic, decandantly extravagant fun. And neither of these will be true.