THIS IS WHYHe will never be given to wonder muchif he was the mouth for some cruel forcethat said it. But if he were(this will comfort her) less than one momentout of millions had he meant it. So many years and so many turnsthey had swerved around the subject.And he will swear for many morethe kitchen and everything in it vanished --the oak table, their guests, the refrigerator doorhe had been surely propped against--all changed to rusted ironwork and ashexcept in the center in her linen caftan:she was not touched.He remembers the silence before he spokeand her nodding a little,as if in the meat of this gray wastehere was the signalfor him to speak what they had long agreed,what somewhere they had prepared together.And this one moment in the desert of ashstretches into forever.They had been having a dinner party.She had been lonely. A friend asked her almost jokingif she had ever felt really crazy,and when she started to unwind her answerin long, lovely sentences like scarves within herhe saw this was the waythey could no longer talk together.And that is when he said it,in front of the guests,because he couldn't bear to hear her.And this is why the guests have leftand she screams as he comes near her. - Michael Ryan
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