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.
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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.

-Ruth Park

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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.

-Jeanette Winterson

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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")

-Cornell Woolrich

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