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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Reese Kusza

O Catfish! My Catfish!

My ex-husband and I recently came to the conclusion that we catfished each other thirtysomething years ago.

He thought I was the quiet, classy type when he first met me. Quiet and classy was certainly an improvement on socially backward and I made a good show of it for a while.

He smelled good and would dance at parties. He read books, didn’t act like a jackass around women and was fine with the fact that I was uptight.

We used to take long walks around our university campus. We could talk about anything. We told each other everything. He was studying to be a teacher. I changed my major seven times before settling on the Humanities (see also graduate school).

We met at church. At an ice cream social. It made a lovely story at our wedding.

He was a good partner. We worked well together fixing up our crappy little apartments and houses. Our kids turned out OK (cancer and cerebral palsy and divorce aside).

He is one of the few people in the world who doesn’t get on every last one of my nerves.

Even now, we occasionally talk about random Star Wars minutiae. He got me to read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

If I had a penis, we’d still be together.

That gives me some comfort.

I am also comforted by the fact that our children have grown up in a world that will allow them to marry any consenting adult of their choosing. They won't have to pretend to be someone they are not to please their families or society in general.

They have the freedom to love and be loved as they were made. No need to catfish.

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

~ Walt Whitman

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