(Image from For Me, For You)
I kept the house because the rent is cheap and I write there; it’s become my office. And the great northern beans, the cinnamon, and the rice keep the light on for me, should anything go horribly wrong, or should I come to my senses and reclaim my position as the most alone person who ever existed.
It was an act of devotion. A little like writing or loving someone — it doesn’t always feel worthwhile, but not giving up somehow creates unexpected meaning over time.
…I wasn’t in a fairytale or a fable. I shut my eyes and absorbed the silent whoomp that always accompanies this revelation. It’s the sound of the real world, gigantic and impossible, replacing the smaller version of reality that I wear like a bonnet, clutched tightly under my chin.
I had shortened my life in another way too, by marrying a man who was eight years older than me, meaning he would die exactly eight years before me, rendering the last eight years of my life useless. I would just spend it crying.
Ron was exactly the kind of man you spend your whole life being careful not to end up in the apartment of. And since I was raised to go out of my way to make such men feel understood, I took extra-special care with his inteview. But as he talked on and on (the original transcript was more than fifty pages), I realized that I don’t actually want to understand this kind of man — I just want them to feel understood, because I fear what will happen if I am thought of as yet another person who doesn’t believe them. I want to be the one they spare on the day of reckoning.
In my lexicon of signs and symbols, obsessively organized pictures of Prisons, Babies, and Nice Girls are an indication that something of great consequence is afoot.
All I ever really want to know is how other people are making it through life — where do they put their body, hour by hour, and how do they cope inside of it.