....dead-end road to adultery...
I am not asking you to love me, she says, but itís possible to carry on as usual. There is no need for you to break down, fall to pieces. One could try to accept what is happening without anger and resentment. One should not blame one another, but see this as a challenge. Every difficulty is given to overcome our shortcomings, to strengthen us.
He says, how is it possible, if our whole life is disrupted by your affair? I am looking ridiculous and I feel I am losing my self respect. I am being laughed about by the neighbours and I imagine they are talking behind my back.I do not like to go out anymore to meetings, for instance with the Neighbourhood Watch Team, because I feel the whispers behind my back like an evil breath, a painful continuous draft, that makes me shudder.
Calm down, she says and looks at him from the corner of her eye, somehow relishing his outbursts. How can anybody be so sensitive to other peopleís gossip? You can never please them all and most people have no idea about another oneís life and tribulations.
I read once a book by the Dalai Lama. It said that the people who hurt you are the greatest teachers. We cling to bad habits and fear any change, for we do not understand, that change is our only chance. Bad or good, it all depends on the moment.
So change, he says. Stop seeing him. Stop lying to me about where you have been and what you have done.
So change, she says. Stop those sulky silences. Talk to me about your feelings and what you love or hate.
I am in limbo about you, as I do not understand you anymore. Sometimes I feel, I sleep with a stranger and eat with a corpse and I shudder about the implications. Will mortis rigor set in and reach me as well?
Will I gather dust in this stuffiness and become grey and wrinkled?
Two people sitting facing each other, mummifying in front of the stale and rotten food, that cannot give them anymore the elements and energy essential for life.
They both look at each other and none of them makes a move. They are at loggerheads in an equilibrium that also is threatening their balance, as it acts as a seesaw hovering in suspension. They can either rise nor fall and each stubbornly is holding on to their own position unable getting down to the ground.
I am not asking you to love me, she says.
Try to understand , thatís all I ask.
What is love after all?
And he sniggers: do I have a choice in this matter?
He looks at her and sees it all at the same time, those eyes he had fallen in love with once ago, the blond hair, that by now has thinned showing the first strands of grey, her face, once beautiful, now demonstrating that time cannot be held back.
I think I have stopped loving you a long time ago, he says.
And much of the time I do not even like you.
She holds his gaze and smiles at him. So whatís the big deal if I try and find love somewhere else? I need it for myself. It gives me strength to carry on with you, with the daily tasks, the children. It makes me a happier person. Do you not realise this?
Again he feels a dry cough coming up, as if someone has forced him to drink something acidic and bitter and it scratches his windpipe and the back of his throat. There is a pungent smell of burning fat and he realises, he has burnt the onions again as he is stirring without looking. And now he puts all his strength into this slow continuous movement, as if his life depends on it and nothing else is important.
He keeps on stirring until everything in the pan turns into a sticky disgusting mess and a thick, black, stinking smoke inundates the kitchen.
Switch it off, she screams, take the pan off the hob! Do you want to kill us?
Yes, he says. Because I donít love you anymore.