I absolutely loved this particular story. It is more of my kind. An escapist woman, who thinks she is in awe with a long dead scientist. She is reading his work currently and believes herself to be unselfishly in love with him. However, she is married. She and her husband are married for 16 years. They are at that stage where they see each other as a blur image and not as people they are in love with.
She says to her dog, who is beside her at the window watching the candle man, “One day you’ll wake up and realize your favorite person has turned into a person-shaped cloud.”
The dog ignores her, because the dog is wise.
She is looks for relationships outside, it is just a friend. Meg is an abortion expert at some clinic. That makes her a sympathetic woman. Meg listens to anything the author has to say and makes her feel warm but one fine day Meg breaks up with her!
What is it about me that people need breaks from? she asks the dog, who looks as though she wants to say something but, out of innate gentleness, refrains.
And then she has to look for another person to get close to. William Bartram, the flower hunter, could be that person and he would not even seek a break from her.
Well, William Bartram won’t need a break from her. The dead need nothing from us; the living take and take.
The story is unlike ones you come across often. It talks about so many things in parallel but aloofness and escapism is the center of it all. A woman finds faults in everything. She fears everything around her. She fears her children will hate her, she fears her husband will ignore her. She also fears inanimate things around her. She tried to bury it all in books. Books are her solace.
The author seems to have been failing at everything. She is neither wifely or motherly. She fails to set up consumes for her children on Halloween. Her husband is forever dejected by her. She had bought a Piano years ago but failed to learn to play it.
She always wanted to be the kind of person who could play the “Moonlight” Sonata.
She buries her failure at this, as she buries all her failures, in reading.
The story also discusses the different between eroticism and sexuality which are both two different things by the way.
She thinks of Bartram in the deep semitropical forest, far from his wife, aroused by the sight of an evocative blue flower that exists as a weed in her own garden.
I absolutely loved the story. You can read it for free too here.
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