And when he got home he started on Mumma. He hated her then, because in her fatness and untidiness and drabness she reminded him of what he himself was when he was sober.
He was dead again when I got home that day. His corpse was in the kitchen, near the counter, where it appeared he'd been chopping vegetables when the urge to stab himself through the wrist had struck. I slipped on the blood coming in, which annoyed me because that meant it was all over the kitchen floor.
He made what apology he could and hurried home, overjoyed that the satisfaction of his curiosity had preserved their love intact, and that, having feigned for so long, when in Odette's company, a sort of indifference, he had not now, by a demonstration of jealousy, given her that proof of the excess of his own passion which, in a pair of lovers, fully and finally dispenses the recipient from the obligation to love the other enough. He never spoke to her of this misadventure, he cased even to think of it himself. But now and then his thoughts in their wandering course would come upon this memory where it lay unobserved, would startle it into life, thrust it more deeply down into his consciousness, and leave him aching with a sharp, far-rooted pain.
Sometimes, Arin almost understood what Kestrel had done. Even now, as he felt the drift of the boat and didn't fight its pull, Arin remembered the yearning in Kestrel's face whatever she'd mentioned her father. Like a homesickness. Arin had wanted to shake it out of her. Especially during those early months when she had owned him. He had wanted to force her to see her father for what he was. He had wanted her to acknowledge what she was, how she was wrong, how she shouldn't long for her father's love. It was soacked in blood. Didn't she see that? How could she not?Once, he'd hated her for it. Then it had somehow touched him. He knew it himself. He, too, wanted what he shouldn't. He, too, felt the heart chooses its own home and refuses reason. Not here, he'd tried to say. Not this. Not mine. Never. But he had felt the same sickness.In retrospect, Kestrel's role in the taking of the eastern plains was predictable. Sometimes he damned her for currying favor with the emperor, or blamed her playing war like a game just because she could. Yet he thought he knew the truth of her reasons. She'd done it for her father. It almost made sense. At least, it did when he was near sleep and his mind was quiet, and it was harder to help what entered. Right before sleep, he came close to understanding. But he was awake now.
When Batty got back home from walking the dogs, there were teenagers lounging all over the place, some left over from the basketball game, some arriving for the birthday dinner, some who fit into both categories. For once, she hardly cared, too delighted to see that Oliver's sleek car was no longer in the driveway. Hoping that he was gone forever, she rushed into the house and ended up in the kitchen, where dinner preparations were in full swing. Mr. Penderwick was chopping up vegetables for quesadillas, Rosalind was pulling a cake out of the oven, Jeffrey was shredding cheese, and Iantha was cooking up small, plain cheese quesadillas for Lydia, who was to be fed before the big dinner got rolling. Then there were the non-workers: Lydia in her high chair, wearing both her crown and her lamb bib, her new pink rabbit beside her; Jane sitting cross-legged on the floor, in everyone's way; Ben, strutting around, showing off his new Celtics T-shirt; and Asimov, sticking close to Jeffrey, hoping for falling cheese.
When my husband had an affair with someone else I watched his eyes glaze over when we ate dinner together and I heard him singing to himself without me, and when he tended the garden it was not for me.He was courteous and polite; he enjoyed being at home, but in the fantasy of his home I was not the one who sat opposite him and laughed at his jokes. He didn't want to change anything; he liked his life. The only thing he wanted to change was me.It would have been better if he had hated me, or if he had abused me, or if he had packed his new suitcases and left.As it was he continued to put his arm round me and talk about being a new wall to replace the rotten fence that divided our garden from his vegetable patch. I knew he would never leave our house. He had worked for it.Day by day I felt myself disappearing. For my husband I was no longer a reality, I was one of the things around him. I was the fence which needed to be replaced. I watched myself in the mirror and saw that I was mo longer vivid and exciting. I was worn and gray like an old sweater you can't throw out but won't put on.He admitted he was in love with her, but he said he loved me.Translated, that means, I want everything. Translated, that means, I don't want to hurt you yet. Translated, that means, I don't know what to do, give me time.Why, why should I give you time? What time are you giving me? I am in a cell waiting to be called for execution.I loved him and I was in love with him. I didn't use language to make a war-zone of my heart.'You're so simple and good,' he said, brushing the hair from my face.He meant, Your emotions are not complex like mine. My dilemma is poetic.But there was no dilemma. He no longer wanted me, but he wanted our lifeEventually, when he had been away with her for a few days and returned restless and conciliatory, I decided not to wait in my cell any longer. I went to where he was sleeping in another room and I asked him to leave. Very patiently he asked me to remember that the house was his home, that he couldn't be expected to make himself homeless because he was in love.'Medea did,' I said, 'and Romeo and Juliet and Cressida, and Ruth in the Bible.'He asked me to shut up. He wasn't a hero.'Then why should I be a heroine?'He didn't answer, he plucked at the blanket.I considered my choices.I could stay and be unhappy and humiliated.I could leave and be unhappy and dignified.I could Beg him to touch me again.I could live in hope and die of bitterness.I took some things and left. It wasn't easy, it was my home too.I hear he's replaced the back fence.
She hated him – she hated everything he stood for. But when they said hate is akin to love they were certainly right. Because she needed him with every fibre of her being. And hard as it was to admit it, that need was only part of what she felt for him. The whole was love – a love which recognised how wrong he was for her, but still clung to him. To everything about him.
She had signed her own death-warrant. He kept telling himself over and over that he was not to blame, she had brought it on herself. He had never seen the man. He knew there was one. He had known for six weeks now. Little things had told him. One day he came home and there was a cigar-butt in an ashtray, still moist at one end, still warm at the other. There were gasoline-drippings on the asphalt in front of their house, and they didn't own a car. And it wouldn't be a delivery-vehicle, because the drippings showed it had stood there a long time, an hour or more. And once he had actually glimpsed it, just rounding the far corner as he got off the bus two blocks down the other way. A second-hand Ford. She was often very flustered when he came home, hardly seemed to know what she was doing or saying at all.He pretended not to see any of these things; he was that type of man, Stapp, he didn't bring his hates or grudges out into the open where they had a chance to heal. He nursed them in the darkness of his mind. That's a dangerous kind of a man.If he had been honest with himself, he would have had to admit that this mysterious afternoon caller was just the excuse he gave himself, that he'd daydreamed of getting rid of her long before there was any reason to, that there had been something in him for years past now urging Kill, kill, kill. Maybe ever since that time he'd been treated at the hospital for a concussion.("Three O'Clock")
He died at the wrong time, when there was much to be clarified and established. They hadn’t even started to be grown-ups together. There was this piece of heaven, this little girl he’d carried around the shop on his shoulders; and then one day she was gone, replaced by a foreigner, an uncooperative woman he didn’t know how to speak to. Being so confused, so weak, so in love, he chose strength and drove her away from himself. The last years he spent wondering where she’d gone, and slowly came to realise that she would never return, and that the husband he’d chosen for her was an idiot.
When the Washington Post telephoned me at home on Valentine's Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwah, I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship—though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn't known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved…
And kid, you’ve got to love yourself. You’ve got wake up at four in the morning, brew black coffee, and stare at the birds drowning in the darkness of the dawn. You’ve got to sit next to the man at the train station who’s reading your favorite book and start a conversation. You’ve got to come home after a bad day and burn your skin from a shower. Then you’ve got to wash all your sheets until they smell of lemon detergent you bought for four dollars at the local grocery store. You’ve got to stop taking everything so goddam personally. You are not the moon kissing the black sky. You’ve got to compliment someones crooked brows at an art fair and tell them that their eyes remind you of green swimming pools in mid July. You’ve got to stop letting yourself get upset about things that won’t matter in two years. Sleep in on Saturday mornings and wake yourself up early on Sunday. You’ve got to stop worrying about what you’re going to tell her when she finds out. You’ve got to stop over thinking why he stopped caring about you over six months ago. You’ve got to stop asking everyone for their opinions. Fuck it. Love yourself, kiddo. You’ve got to love yourself.