Tuesday, November 20, 2007

An Unmistakeable Silence

Published 'The Bound Spiral' 1992

From the way her case opened and shut throughout the day, I could assess her moods even if I never saw her in person once.

The thought of abandoning her home was one thing, but the enactment was evidently quite another. Several changes of mind. Once the bedroom was empty even of the case. But the next it had returned and where it had been in the meantime was a mystery.

It goes without saying that my hiding-place was under the bed. I could hear her clip-clopping upon her high-heels around the bed, but I did not lift the tassels of the quilt for a surreptitious look. Until I heard the clicking of the lock followed by a period of unmistakeable silence, I was reluctant to emerge in case she was still at large. But out I’d eventually come, eyes squinting...

I suppose she was justified in having such qualms about staying with a husband who spent most of his hours awake under the bed. But I was taught to look at both sides of a story — and a double-jointed wife who spends most of her time in a suit-case is not exactly a bed of roses.

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