Friday, July 03, 2009

The Autobiography of Someone Else - 10

I rode home from Harry's and left my bike out on the lawn. I walked in and Mom and Dad were at it again. They'd been fighting for weeks now, every day or every other day. Today my dad was sitting on the ottoman beside my mother, who lay prone on the couch with her arm draped on her forehead, wilted, like someone suddenly stricken; like a fainted, dainty lady in a play.

My father spoke softly, with his elbows on his knees and his hands clasped as though in prayer. My mother stared blankly back, blinking, her eyes raw from crying. You could imagine he was tending to her, like a doctor or a parent; you could imagine he was quietly destroying her, a devious courtier delivering some unfathomable insult to his detested queen. You could imagine he would kill her. Though they were at odds, there was an air of conspiracy between them: two adults in complex, intimate congress over a bewildering and irresolvable question. The rest of the world had fallen away and there remained only them and their precious problem. Was this not love?