For Show

A invites B to visit an empty cabin on the edge of endless farmland, November, damp and cold. They go, they visit rooms, and then they don’t talk about it, neither willing to blame the other, afraid of disappointment, although it comes out, talking with an aunt, that A and B have different expectations, intending, unexpressed, A wanting B like wanting the television on, mindless company, an excuse for doing nothing, B wanting more than the obligatory embrace, wanting A to share what the cabin means. What happened here? How is it a part of their lives? The difficulty of not sharing, or of the kindness that mimics avoidance that maims, sincerity, a bewildering shadow, awaremess, a bewildering echo, confuses. If we were angry, we wouldn’t admit it; if we were depressed we wouldn’ want to do anything about it. Here is the child in us— confusion is our response to difficulty, or, guilty, the fear of being discovered. This was A’s summer home, where the family went to be together, the dead place of sharing.

17 January 1987