Temporary Numbness

Monday, October 10, 2005

I cry less but sometimes I forget what I’m looking at. I have to give myself things to look forward to. Is it as simple as that?

Last night, during dinner with friends, I had a moment. There, before me, was a sparkling crossfire from interested minds, eager to entertain, toil and trouble over thoughts, words and inaction. I watched them abstractly until I came across his face. This is my husband’s face, I thought to myself. I repeated the words slowly in my head, unbelieving. His face, I don’t recognize his face.

After that I borrowed her copy of Anais Nin’s Journal of a Wife. Later on in the night, unable to sleep, I was both relieved and horrified by the parallels in our lives. The same insecurities, over writing, over making something to stand proudly next to, about love, about sensuality, about the limits of experiences, gratefulness for all that is given and yet the blackest mood cutting all.

How can hot sauce go bad in a fridge after only a week? I can’t believe I have to throw it out. What a disappointment.

I have appointments to fill, people to meet, projects to finish. But it’s becoming hard to get just one thing done a day. Today I promised myself to buy an ironing table and some hangers. While ironing a green dress, I wondered about the generosity of men. The generosity of men in love knows no bounds.

He took me to the park today, to feel the warmth of a fugitive summer day. We sat with a view overlooking all of Paris. I recounted the last story of Joyce’s The Dubliners. Can this be the same woman who stood poised and composed beside him all evening? All that time, Michael Furey was there, in his grave, dead so many years before. She had had a romance and now he could hardly remember what it was like, that they were husband and wife. The snow fell equally upon all the living and all the dead.

The sound of a scooter whining on my street makes me ache vaguely.