They fell for each other at something close to first glance, and glommed together like two parts of the same baubled and brilliant whole. Fractious parts, to be sure. Carrie Fisher was 15 years younger than Paul Simon, and both were neurotic and willful to the extreme. When they fought, which was not rare, the rage — fueled as much by their own insecurities as by any real distaste for each other — hit their Central Park West penthouse like one of “Ghostbusters”‘s brick-smashing demons. Walls collapsed, crockery took wing, clouds of evil boiled over the skyline. Then just as quickly, she’d blurt out something, their eyes would meet and then…
“I not only don’t like you,” she screamed at him in the middle of one particularly explosive encounter. “I don’t like you personally.” The bizarre assertion ended the fight on the spot — they were both laughing too hard to snarl anymore — but the peace was, once again, short-lived.
Their love was just as combustible. Paul and Carrie were almost exactly the same size, and their bodies fit together so naturaly that if they weren’t holding hands or draping arms over each other’s shoulders, they were squished up together on the sofa, more or less on top of each other. Carrie added velocity to his life, a kind of wild energy that often set him alight and sometimes made him scream…
The married in the summer of 1983, only to divorce the next year. Reunited a few months later they continued their post-marital romance until 1989 after a joint trip to Brazil, where Paul was working on the music that would become his wonderful Rhythm Of the Saints album. Memories of Carrie hover over the album. Paul reveals his lost lover in all her ecstasy, her gloom and her puzzling mood swings. He ventures into her troubled soul and emerges scarred and anguished.
She says “maybe these emotions are
As near to love as love will ever be”
So I agree
Then the moon breaks
She takes the corner, that’s all she takes
She moves on.
For more about Carrie and Paul read People Online‘s encapsulation of the relevant sections from my book, Homeward Bound:The Life of Paul Simon.