It’s the kind of story you don’t really want to hear, but you can’t stop listening. Something unusual might have happened. Not an accident at all, but a rare serious painful moment. It’s a narrative with real consequences. You can’t even think about it without repercussions. You don’t want to hear it.
Inside the story the blind wife feels the name above the doorbell and rings it. The blind wife believes her husband has been sleeping here. And she enters the house and has coffee with this stranger whose name she has become familiar with, just as she has become familiar with her own new name, this blind wife who is becoming this stranger’s friend while she is trying to find out about her husband’s other wife. His mistress. His girlfriend. His sister. His jilted admirer. His long lost daughter. She doesn’t know what this stranger is, but she’s going to find out.
It’s the kind of story in which none of the obvious possibilities are true. It’s the kind of story that doesn’t really answer your questions and turns away when you begin to feel close to it.
Something about the story tells you this blind wife is not really alone. Have you ever seen a gaggle of blind wives? It’s an oddly bright and happy gathering. It’s an unattached and beautiful celebration. You could get intoxicated with all the agreements going on, all the helpful advice. It’s not the first time you’ve imagined generosity, is it?
You understand, don’t you, that the earth does not smell the same to lovers as it does to the betrayed? And to describe their moment of truth is to suffer a death. A little one, an old one, but a death all the same.
I know you don’t want to hear this because inside the deeper part of the story, where their hearts are, the blind wives are going to visit a stray dog, rescued from the other woman’s garden. It could drag out some feelings you might not want to feel and they are going to want to give themselves away to it, those blind women, and you still don’t want to hear this, do you.
You would never have considered doing what the blind wife is going to do because inside the story the husband is sleeping, just sleeping, but not where sleeping is expected of him. He’s a little death, an old one, but a death all the same. It’s something you can marry in darkness. Like the sky with its wings on fire. The sky she couldn’t see.
Inside the husband’s dream, he is investigating what he wanted from the blind wife, how he wanted her to become the only place he could find his dream. It’s another kind of death now because it was already there, with the blind wife, and he couldn’t find it.
And the blind wife is melting away from that death and from the darkest husband. Burning in the absence of his discovery.
Burning to be what she wanted.
Burning to be what he couldn’t see.