From “The Book and the Brotherhood”

From “The Book and the Brotherhood” September 10, 2014

Rose felt a little drunk and very disinclined to go home. She had frightened herself this evening, had been deeply disturbed by her ridiculous and unworthy feelings of jealousy about Lily and Tamar. Am I to grieve if [Gerard] even looks at another woman, do I, I, then feel so insecure? Yes. After all these years I am absolutely without defence, I can be broken in an instant. Nothing whatever binds him to the relation that we have now, he is scarcely aware of it as a state of affairs that can change, or indeed as a state of affairs at all! I suppose it’s good that he takes me so much for granted, she thought, but just that also means that I have no rights. Rights? So now she was thinking about rights! She could imagine Gerard’s reaction to any language of that sort! But I must talk to him, she thought, I must tell him, I must, oh it sounds so weak and spiritless, ask him to reassure me. But how can I put it, and what can he say? I must be open and sincere. But what do I want? What I want now is not to go home but to go to Gerard’s bed and lie with him until the world ends. Can I tell him that? Does he know?

‘Don’t ring for a taxi,’ she said, ‘I’ll get one easily if I just walk to the end of the road. Don’t bother to come.’

‘Of course I’ll come! Where the hell did Pat put my coat?’

Out in the street when the taxi stopped and its door was open, Gerard kissed Rose on the lips as he often did and she put her arms round his neck as she often did.

In case you were wondering how insistently The Book and the Brotherhood would hammer on this theme of people utterly misreading one another, the answer is: very!


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