In a fight against excessive rigidity, I decided to read a book not even my worst enemy would suspect me of liking: a ghost romance novel. Sex with ghosts! Soppy, vulgar, and aimed at somebody 20 years younger than me.
And hey, for what it is, the novel isn’t half bad. There is an inner logic to its madness. I quite enjoyed it even though I’m way too old to be reading the romance genre because it locates love in silly little things – the first look, the first joke – that are very cute but at my age feel soporific. Love is what happens after the first surgery, the first serious illness, the first job loss, the first miscarriage, the first funeral. And the second, the third, the tenth. That’s the love I care about. “What’s the first song we listened to together?” Oh, get over yourselves, you idiot children.
Of course, there’s also greater tolerance that comes with age. I would have detested this novel 20 years ago but now I even enjoyed it. At least, I now know all I ever needed about sex with ghosts.