Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Property # 1

That he was dull, that he was without tenderness: was this reason enough to hate him? Surely not, but by the time we left the city, I had come to dread the feelings that must arise in my own breast when I was dependant on my husband alone for whatever joy life might have left to offer me. And I was right to be afraid. In town he was unsure of himself, but in his own home he was a tyrant. He drained the color from every scene, the flavor from every bit of food, the warmth from every exchange of sentiment. He had not so much destroyed my life as emptied it, and now that he was gone, I had to pretend there was something alive in me. Joel had sensed this. My laughter was too ready, and it was hollow. When he looked into my eyes, it must have been like staring through the windows of a burnt-out house. Doubtless, he attributed this to the ordeal of the insurrection, and it didn't occur to him that what had left me with ashes for a heart was not murderous negroes, but my marriage.
Valerie Martin

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