In The Lecturer's Tale :. In Publish and Perish :. In The World According to Garp :. In A Widow for One Year :. In Until I Find You :. In The Lives of Christopher Chant :. Jones invented a series of children's books that are apparently similar to Enid Blyton 's Malory Towers and St. Clair's series. The Millie , below, are about a girl, Millie, who goes to a boarding school called Lowood House School. There are reportedly about ten books in the series, but only six are named: the first five, below, and another book called Head Girl Millie. In The Eye of the World :. In The Dragon Reborn :.
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In The Shadow Rising :. In '' The Fires of Heaven :. In The Poisonwood Bible :. In The History of Love :. In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe :. In That Hideous Strength :. In It Can't Happen Here :. In A Conspiracy of Paper.
THE USAGE PANEL
In A Spectacle of Corruption. This includes works by others in the Cthulhu Mythos. In " A Constellation of Vital Phenomena ":. In The Baby-sitters Club series :. In The Moon and Sixpence :. In Ghostwritten :. In Cloud Atlas :. In Anne's House of Dreams :. In Rilla of Ingleside :. In Invitation to a Beheading :. In Look at the Harlequins! The book begins with a list of "Other Books by the Narrator". In Mike Nelson's Death Rat! In Hunters and Gatherers :. In Desolation Island :.
In The Wine-Dark Sea :. In Treason's Harbour :. In At Swim-Two-Birds :. In The Third Policeman :. In Nineteen Eighty-Four :. In Keep the Aspidistra Flying :. In The Road to Wigan Pier :. In Coming Up for Air :. In Where the Crawdads Sing :. In The Black Book :.
In Looking for Rachel Wallace :. In One-Upmanship :. In Supermanship : '. In Books Do Furnish a Room :. In the A Dance to the Music of Time series :. In Hearing Secret Harmonies :. In What's Become of Waring :. In Good Omens with Neil Gaiman :. In Aberystwyth Mon Amour :. This is a list of books mentioned in the Harry Potter series.
Titles specifically mentioned as textbooks are listed first, by class, followed by other books listed by general topic. In The Documents in the Case :. In Have His Carcase :. In Thrones, Dominations :. In Unnatural Death :. In Nifft the Lean :. In Burning Questions :. In The Bad Beginning :. In The Miserable Mill :. In The Reptile Room :. In The Penultimate Peril :.
In Cryptonomicon and Quicksilver :. In The Daughter of Time :. In Miss Pym Disposes :. In American Empire: Blood and Iron :. In In High Places :. In Settling Accounts: In at the Death :. In Bech: A Book :. In Brideshead Revisited : all by Charles Ryder. In From the Desk of Gilmer C. Merton from the short story collection Storeys from the Old Hotel.
In The Day of the Triffids. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This article may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. Please consider splitting content into sub-articles, condensing it, or adding subheadings.
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In Doctor Who :. In The Information :. In London Fields :. In Money :. In The Earth Book of Stormgate :. In A Midsummer Tempest :. In The Royal Tenenbaums : . In Moonrise Kingdom : . In The Source of Magic :. In The Foundation Trilogy :. In Blind Alley :. In Emotionally Weird :. In Life After Life :. In A God in Ruins :. In The Blind Assassin :. In Lady Oracle :. In The Robber Bride :. In One For the Morning Glory :. In The Road to Oz :. In the Oz books, by Baum and his successors:. In Seven Men :. In A Christmas Garland :.
In The Face in the Frost :. In Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull :. In The Dark Secret of Weatherend :. In The Figure in the Shadows :. In The Manual of Detection :. In " The Mannikin ":. In " The Shambler from the Stars ":. In " The Suicide in the Study ":. In : all by Benno von Archimboldi. In " Death and the Compass ":. In " The Library of Babel ":.
In " Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote ":. In " Three Versions of Judas ":. In " The Zahir ":. In Any Human Heart :. In Brazzaville Beach :. In Restless :. In "Achates McNeil". In "Going Down". In the Chalet School series:. In What Mad Universe? In Stand on Zanzibar :. In Athyra :. In Five Hundred Years After :. In Jhegaala :. In The Curse of Chalion :. In The Biographer's Tale :. In The Children's Book :.
In Possession: A Romance :. The way he stood up and grabbed me by the shoulders in the lobby of the Copley, the way we nervously ordered drinks at the Plaza Bar and left them half-drunk before retreating upstairs, made me feel that we might as well have buckled ourselves into sandwich boards that had painted on them "Robbie Henerey and Claire Wyeth are having an affair" and marched up and down Commonwealth Avenue wearing them. Sex with Robbie was curiously bigamous, not adulterous, characterized by affection rather than passion. Somewhere muffled by having his head cradled in the curve of my hip, Robbie would murmur that he wished someday to have spent enough time together to become bored with me.
For myself, I would smooth back down one of Robbie's eyebrow-hairs that had become ruffled, and tell him that he was the best damned quarter-horse I'd ever found: a sprinter, a working cow-pony, part thoroughbred, a racehorse possessed of mongrel vigor. I could do anything with him. And because the sex was sweet rather than steamy, I was assured that we belonged to a Higher Moral Order, no petit bourgeois niceties about monogamy and marriage over here.
We were participating in a Love That Could Not Be Denied, and our intercourse had nothing to do with hot-sheet joints and hourly rates. After all, we read to each other in bed. He had to catch a plane back to California, and I had to drive back to Amherst. Robbie didn't shower afterwards, saying he wanted to keep our smell on him as long as he could. I thought he was insane to take such chances, but then, I didn't know Margaret personally nor her capacity for self-deception.
That night I slept in Carter's arms as I always did, with him holding me as if I were a rabbit to be given to a favored grandchild. Such was Carter's ethology of caring. Carter got his much-pined-for post-doc back home in Arizona, so as spring turned into summer, I was looking at carrying on two long-distance relationships instead of one. I managed to see Robbie one time during the summer; though I hated to be away from Carter two weeks before he broke up our happy home, packed up dog and kit, and headed back out West, I needed to attend a joint Berkeley- Stanford conference on neural networks.
And my time away from Carter was leavened by the afternoon spent with Robbie in a bed-and-breakfast on top of an antique store in Half Moon Bay. We were pretty good at romance at short order. When Carter took off for out West, we made no sweeping statements of fealty, or commitment of undying love or eternal fidelity. We had never had to, and it was a couple of years late into our relationship to change things. We shared a morbid fear of sentimentality, and unspoken knew what we were to each other.
We didn't talk about plans for the indefinite future because they had included each other since forty-eight hours after we had first met. Carter's leaving town, any more than Robbie's cropping up in Oregon and in my life, was not supposed to make any difference.
That fall, I didn't know who I missed more, the man I had lived with or the man I was dying to become intimate with: strange to be missing someone I hardly knew. I walked around in a fugue state, always wishing to be elsewhere with someone else. But with whom, I wasn't sure. It was a living application of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: I could know the location or the spin of either guy, but I couldn't be with one and not miss the other. In the act of observing, something would be lost. In wanting to be in two places at once, I wasn't anywhere at all.
Without Carter around to be kept fed, laid, and have his belly scratched, I developed a haunted existence. I would rise and bathe and teach my classes and have lunch with my colleagues and do my work, and no one knew I was in the throes of demonic possession. For I lived for the artificial high of those nights; what with the three hour time-difference between the East and West Coasts, Robbie and I would really start slinging the words around until his bedtime in Mill Valley, which was way into the early morning in Amherst.
I had entered into a double life of secret and delicious shame: symbolic fornication over the wires.
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Demimondaine, it was as if I were a Berkeley feminist by day, into spanking at night. Claire by gaslight. O rose, thou art sick, only the Sexually Transmitted Disease I caught from Robbie was not chlamydia or papilloma. It wasn't tertiary neurosyphilitic paresis that caused permanent damage to my nervous system, no permanent herpes simplex infestation in the nerves at the base of my spine. But Robbie had left his mark of sexual scarification on me all right, because the sheath for the nerves that allowed me to type became permanently rubbed raw.
With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, the etiology was not contact of mucous membranes but the vector of too much writing. My arms ached and my limp wrists grew weaker with loss of motor control through the inflammation of Repetitive Stress Injury, venereal disease not caused by unsafe sex but by logorrhea. As much as I was craving Robbie, Carter was my Designated Boyfriend, so it was with him that I was planning to spend my holidays. It was just as cold in Tucson as it had been in Amherst when I'd left it, though it wasn't supposed to be that way. Carter picked me up at the airport in his white Chevy pickup truck given to him by his grand- daddy.
I'd come to identify him, the kindest good old boy I'd ever met, with that truck. Since he'd moved back out to Arizona, he'd bought an HR twelve-gauge shotgun to refill the gunrack he'd left empty during his stay in western Massachusetts. In honor of my arrival, he had the radio tuned to the one classical station in town, as heavy on the nineteenth-century goop as it was, figuring I would prefer that to the member-supported station that in its drive towards multiculturalism played bad covers of bar music, or the junior college station that played fifty-year-old white guys' versions of cool jazz.
Pojo, quivering with cold and excitement eel-like in the back, trotted hyper back and forth amidst my luggage. The snow falling on the cartoony saguaro cactus didn't make any sense. It was always confusing when it snowed in the desert; no movie I'd ever seen had prepared me for it, though it happened much more often than the Arizona Chamber of Commerce would like anyone to know. The houses weren't designed with snow in mind, and the names of the malls usually had "sun" in them, or some other notion of the halcyon, when in fact I had to keep my coat on inside Carter's house, even though the coat brought the cold from outside in with it.
I was impatient to get showered, bedded down, and spooned-up with Carter as I hadn't since Thanksgiving - and logged on to see what was waiting for me from Robbie, my spirit demon-lover. Oh the wonders of technology, where the adulterous commit their crimes in thought and word in an electronic salon, but rarely in deed. We could write each other every day, treat each other like the mental jungle gyms we were for each other, and speak of nooky without our partners having a clue.
My computer had become a sex-toy, a marital appliance for the end of the millennium. I took a secret fetishizing delight in touching it, for I knew when I plugged it in that all kinds of thrills, both intellectual and loverly, awaited me. Truly, science is mankind's brother. So the mothers are pushing marriage? Or just a decision? How do you feel about that?
If Carter pops the question on Christmas eve, how will you answer him? We were going to spend Christmas with Carter's family in their Northwest Phoenix tract house, and then we were going up to spend New Year's by ourselves at their cabin in the pine country halfway between Flagstaff and the ghost town of Jerome. I loved it there because we could pick up the Navajo radio stations whose broadcasts were interspersed with occasional Anglicisms on a par with the Franglais "le weekend" or "le match de football.
Although Carter could hear the difference between the Hopi and the Navajo, he couldn't articulate how he could tell them apart. When I'd visited him over Thanksgiving he had been able to teach me how to pick out the Indian boarding-school accent. We'd been watching a dreadfully educational public- access cable documentary on Native American healing, and I'd asked Carter why the Indians being interviewed sounded so whitebread.
I hadn't been able to understand why some Indians spoke with this strange singsong that made them sound vaguely like recent immigrants from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, most likely of Swedish extraction. Four Corners natives who sounded like snowbirds were one more thing that hadn't made sense about the Southwest. Once Carter explained, I understood why Indians above a certain age, from all parts of the country and from linguistic groups as diverse as Basque is from Finnish, often all sounded alike and vaguely Teutonic.
It was for this down-home naturalist's knowledge of the trail, his tales of being a forest- fire fighter, that I had fallen in love with him. He liked to quote what one of his forest-service buddies had said to him when they had both been stranded on a granite outcropping, waiting for a fire to burn itself out around them: "Wildfires are like women. No two of them are alike.
Or at least that's how I understood the subtext. On Christmas Eve we hauled into Carter's parents' house, the luminarios lit up and down the cul-de-sac. I hadn't looked forward to the two-hour drive on the interstate between Tucson and Phoenix. But I could use my computer to send and receive the crooniest of messages while Carter would lie gently snoring in the bedroom that had been his in high-school and that we shared whenever we visited his family. The guilt I felt as I described the dear shape of sleeping Carter's long tawny horse head to Robbie was excruciating.
But then, I couldn't have not described him to Robbie, any more than I could not have raced to get my computer plugged in to receive and send our moonings of the last twenty- four hours, any more than I could have resisted changing my seating in a room to track the sunlight as it moved across the floor through the course of an afternoon. Carter was asleep, but would wake up enough when I got into bed to latch onto me; I couldn't know what Robbie was doing, with or without Margaret in Mill Valley, as I cranked into the toll-free CPN node to exchange our endearments, whinings, and musings.
CPN was a nationwide commercial service that made it possible for me make a local call anywhere in the country to connect to my electronic mail account. I was shaky with guilt, horrified at my addiction, and nothing could have made me stop. That I was abusing Carter's trust onsite back at his family homestead made it worse, but it didn't stop me. Pojo lay beside me as I wrote, Pompeiian-dog-preserved-forever-in-volcanic-ash style, snout and tail coming together in a good arc.
Even the dog couldn't believe I could be doing anything bad, much less violating one of the Ten Commandments. On Christmas morning, Pojo snapped the frost-burned cherry tomatoes off the vines Carter's mother had planted close to the cinderblock perimeter fence. I gave Pojo a Williamstown-baked dog-biscuit, a kind she'd grown fond of when we were still living together. Carter's parents gave me a sweatshirt screen-printed with a desert scene of the genre Carter called lavender coyote, and a pair of slippers handknit in blue metallic acrylic yarn.
I gave them a cutting board I'd picked up at a crafts fair on campus and Carter a wool sweater with caribou knocking heads on it, and tie-dyed socks to match the T-shirts he tie-dyed himself. Part of the proceeds from the purchase of the socks went to benefit AIDS research. Carter gave me a book of poems by Emily Dickinson.
Dinner was a recapitulation of Thanksgiving: fearlessly beige, with peculiar concessions to the Winnebago People's notions of health- consciousness. There were casseroles made by throwing together cans of things, only the cans were "dietetic" or "low-sodium, low-cholesterol.
The house was quiet and tension-free, though; the "Home" show was not on at an intrusive volume, and Carter once again marveled at the way his mother would tell me stories about growing up poor in South Carolina during the Depression - stories he'd never heard in his family of repetitive story- tellers. The latest one was about how her father sold the family dog for a bag of beans. It was a question if Pojo would have been worth it back then when a dollar meant a dollar. Taking me into the garage, Carter opened a locker wedged between the wall and his parents' RV.
He pulled out of it photographs of some fires he'd been airlifted to in Montana and Idaho and showed me his Pulaski. His yellow Nomex fire-shirt and green Nomex fire-pants were still hanging in our closet in Amherst, his way of saying that he still considered where we had lived together his secured base camp.
On the way up to the cabin at Strawberry, Carter starting talking about when he had been on the hotshot crew stationed at Pine. He had been riding his raked and chopped Harley to work one morning when a family of javelina darted across the road in front of him.
He swerved to avoid them, but he said he felt a small bump, which probably meant that he had run over their little javelina toes. His deadpan tale of javelina abuse made me laugh, his encounter with wild desert pigs another one of those eerie parallelisms of Robbie's life with Margaret: Margaret had a little car accident. It was just after dusk when she hit a deer while getting off near Tam Junction. It turns out to have been a good thing that Margaret had a car-phone. She called me, and AAA.
While she was waiting for all of us to show up, a man pulled off the highway in a van and asked her if she needed any help. The deer was still alive, but in really bad shape. Margaret said yes, and so the man pulled out a gun, shot the deer, and took off, hauling the deer away with him but doing nothing to help Margaret! The destruction of nature was a recurrent theme in our lives. The snow made more sense weighing down pine boughs than it had whipping over the salt cedars and palo verdes.
Carter had to stop at a hardware store to pick up a snow shovel, alien gear for Sonora-desert dwellers. When we unlocked the cabin, the first thing I did was turn on the radio and hear that snow was broadcast for the Mogollon Rim, for everywhere Phoenix and north. The second thing was to find out what the local CPN number was for Strawberry. We settled into the highly pleasant householding we knew how to do so well. I would cook and he would clean and we took day trips to the ruins at Wapatki and Tuzigoot. Downwind from the Colorado Plateau, I figured out the longstanding archeological mystery over what happened to the Sinagua.
They died from exposure after some sleazy tenth-century tour-packager convinced them that winters were warm in Arizona. When we stopped at the Sacred Mountain trading post mentioned in The Monkey Wrench Gang, Carter asked about special-ordering a wolf-kachina carving for me; there weren't any on hand. He always remembered that my one dip into the cutesy-itsy-boo was my affinity for wolves. The last wolf kachina the old-coot-straight-from- Central-Casting had kept in stock had been bought a few weeks before by a curator at the Heard for his private collection.
It was fortunate that we had chains for the truck, for the snow kept up intermittently. And in the evenings, Carter would read letters to the editor printed in every local newspaper we picked up, and I would work on the paper I was preparing for the annual B. The creosote would leak slowly down the outside of the chimney of the pot- bellied stove; the snow increased the quiet; and working at my computer, I could log on unobtrusively to see what was waiting for me from Robbie. Domestic bliss. In this melodrama I was living through, I had arrived at one of those cheap epiphanies I had always feared: that I was just too much woman for any one man.
Yet this was bedroom farce, not tragedy, and I didn't want to think about what was wrong with me that I had to have two when the rest of the world could make do with one. In any production of La Ronde, the characters are at best allowed ironic distance on themselves. Meanwhile, I was having the time of my life. For New Year's Eve, we decided to keep it simple. We would score some enchiladas in green sauce, which I could never get back East, and then we'd come home, split a bottle of Schramsburg, take a bath together, and go to bed. I could drink a silent toast to Robbie in Carter's peaceable presence.
I'd been too preoccupied reading reprints that day to see if there was anything from Robbie, so I decided to log on just before we left for dinner. Carter had already gone outside to warm up the truck; he knew I liked the interior of the cab to be warm. There wasn't anything from Robbie; there was, however, notice of a message from an alien electronic mail network that nobody I knew subscribed to. I couldn't imagine what it could be, but I had a guilty premonition that it had to do with Robbie.
The message had the subject header of "An uncomfortable situation" and was from someone I had never heard of, a Suzanne Rappoport:. This is one of those unpleasant letters in which I have to write, I hate to tell you, but we're screwing the same man. The same married man. In case it's not obvious who I mean, it's Robbie Henerey. My name is Suzanne Rappoport. I'm 28 years old, divorced, and I live in El Cerrito. I met Robbie through the Electronic Frontier Foundation I'm a computer journalist 13 months ago, and we were involved from then on. I want to laugh, now that I know about you.
I wondered why he never brought me along on his business trips. It's immediately apparent, now. I wonder how many others of us there are. All of this wouldn't be as upsetting if he had been honest about you and everyone else, but he hasn't been. He had me believing that I was his one and only affair. He's told me all manner of ludicrous stories. I've listened to him say he loves me more times than I can count.
Pretty pathetic, hunh? Naturally, it's just as pathetic that I bought into him hook, line, and sinker, but that's another tale, and I don't know you. I discovered your affair this afternoon. I'd like to know how long you've been engaged in it, and so forth. That's my main purpose in writing you. You may already be aware of my existence, and know about everyone else, and this may not perturb you at all. If you have doubts about my entanglement with Robbie, and want it substantiated, I can provide you with credible evidence, but I'd rather not. Robbie, like all slovenly and sneaky animals, no doubt utilized many identical ways and phrases with us both.
It hurts me to consider how game I was. I've written a furious letter to Robbie. In it I said to him that I am certain that he's having at least one other fling. I don't use your name or that of anyone else, and I don't explain how I found out Robbie, creature of many hardons, left snail- trails everywhere around me, as he probably does with you.
I ran into some of them. Aside from that, I won't elaborate.
I will tell you, though, that he has many many female correspondents. As for Robbie: he belongs in his lousy marriage. I almost believe it's a good thing for him to be stuck in it than for him to get what he seems to really be chasing after: to be found out. As for you, I have never met you, but I've been told about you, and I imagine you are smart, and articulate, and sexy.
Just like me. This is not the way I typically begin making someone's acquaintance, but it's about all I am able to manage right now. Please pardon my awkwardness. I am more distraught than my words can possibly indicate. You can write me at the email address shown above. It had to be true. I didn't know how this woman found out about me, or how to reach me, but she made too much sense to be dismissed as a writer of crank e-mail. Her writing had the aura of truth-telling about it. She answered the question I hadn't wanted to pose: if he could do this to his wife, could he do this to me?
And all along I had assumed I was other than a random adultery-unit. Meanwhile, Pojo was on her leash and Carter was waiting so that we could have our holiday feast. The grace under pressure that was being exacted from me wasn't exactly courage, but it did require the best application of method-acting technique I could summon.
Stress-testing in the as-if: I had been living for almost a year as if I were faithful to Carter; now I would have to act as if nothing were any different. Part of Carter's genius for loving was his ability to let me be, so he didn't ask why I was quiet at dinner.
He had always entitled me to my moods. I tried my best to utter complete sentences, and evince interest in what should have been festive dinner-table conversation. Carter ordered flan, and didn't ask why I had barely picked at my food. He did ask, though, if maybe I would have preferred him to cook the traditional Southern New Year's good-luck meal of ham hocks and black-eyed peas. I said thank you, I wasn't really hungry for anything, but I appreciated the gesture.
It started snowing again on the way back from the restaurant. The snow stopped, meanwhile. It was hard to parse, exactly, why Suzanne had contacted me: an overture to cooperate instead of compete, an impulse to ruin my idyll as hers had been ruined by finding out about me? I didn't like the way she described herself as in the personals; my conversion-reaction theory of the world lent itself to self-descriptions, for in my experience people who described themselves as smart and articulate weren't, just as people who used the word "class" didn't have any.
I was as enraged that Robbie was violating my trust with someone I couldn't consider competition as I was that I had been so righteously snookered. But whether I liked her or not was not the point. I had been had, I had defiled my connection to Carter the Good for naught, and I had to act. The net finds its own uses for garbage.
But even in catastrophe pathological curiosity is the strongest post- Freudian personality demonic in my character. I wanted to know more, because knowledge is power. Pojo stuck her nose in my lap while I was writing my killer e-mail to Robbie. I pushed her aside.
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When I finished, Carter poured champagne into white coffee mugs decorated with dappled blue geese. I smiled at him, clinked my mug against his, and glugged it down. We took the bottle into the bathroom with us. Pojo parked herself outside the door. It was my fault entirely, but we weren't having much fun. We dried off and got into our robes. Carter went to sit by the stove, and not into bed; I came and sat on his lap. He didn't push me off but he didn't embrace me either. He said that I had been distant and irritable and fault-finding all vacation, and that he couldn't stay with me if I was going to be at him all the time.
That he loved me a lot, but loving someone wasn't enough; that you could marry someone for love, and ten years later realize that you had still married the wrong person. This was Carter making statements, Carter the strong silent Westerner who had shown me the exact spot on the old two-lane Phoenix-Tucson highway where Tom Mix had his fatal car accident. Carter would have scoffed at comparisons to Gary Cooper, but he never spoke when he could joke and was the best-equipped man I'd ever met at stepping around discussions of couple-crap. His giving me a talking-to was a singularity on our event- horizon, history live in the making.
I had to pay him mind. I said he was right; that I loved him too, and I was sorry if I had been distracted. What he hadn't known is that what he had been sensing was Robbie; that when I was with Carter, I was low-grade annoyed with him for not being Robbie, but I was never with Robbie enough to get irked with him for not being Carter. And that night, although for the worst possible reasons, Robbie had been more present than he had ever been. Carter felt the wrench from Suzanne's e-mail, and the presence of the Other, but assumed the dross and the darkness were strictly endogenous, iatrogenically dredged up from within.
I should have known better than to be enacting a privatized bodice-ripper with a man who seemed to come straight out of a Harlequin Romance for the literati. Anything, however custom-fitted to the lineaments of my desires, too good to be true probably was. Robbie had been my personalized temptation summoned Faust-like from Hell, an incubus of my own devising. And only Robbie, supranormal and ultimately self-contradicting, could have made me betray all my self-important homilies about emotional authenticity and who I was and what it meant to love.
The Hindus and the Buddhists have it that desire is the root of all unhappiness, that such attachments are maya, or illusion. Closer to home, never ask for what you want because you might get it. Carter gently pushed me off his lap so he could get into bed. I said I would join him in a little while. Pojo followed him into the bedroom and lay down at the foot of the bed. I turned off the lights in the house and turned on the radio in time to hear the sign-off National Weather Service forecast, which said there would be more snow, up to Utah, down to Phoenix, and into Colorado and New Mexico.
Without the metalanguage of the affair with Robbie, Carter's wholesomeness was not an adequate overarching metaphor for me to live by; as much as I might wish it to be otherwise, animal husbandry couldn't be the central organizing principle in my life. Once Robbie had entered my life, I didn't have to worry that I had little to say to Carter, exhilarated as I was by unlearning to not speak; but now that Robbie would be leaving it, I realized I could not live without certain kinds of speech acts.
While there would be peace in the freedom from Robbie's mostly nocturnal visitations, it would be the peace of hermetic retreat: Carter's horse-sense was telling him what I hadn't wanted to hear. Our menage may have been necessary at one point but it was no longer sufficient. I could no longer couple with either the vampire or the villager. I got up, turned off and disconnected my computer, and crawled into bed. Carter was already asleep. While he didn't turn to curl up around me as he would have any time in the past, he didn't turn away, either.
Instead, he rested one of his large lovely hands on my leg. I lay on my back and stared at the ceiling and could not sleep. I thought of the death of the heart with Carter; and how the soul had flown out of the love with Robbie. I thought about the impossibility of human connection, the imperfection in all unions, and how no one ever really loves anyone anyway, or at least in the ways that they want to be loved.
And I thought about how in Norse mythology, the Ice Giants would always win in the end, and cold and frost and stillness will ultimately triumph, but that mortals had to keep trying anyway. A couple of hours before dawn, I was still awake. It was then that the promised heavy snowfall began. It was snowing on the kachinas' home in the San Francisco peaks. It added to the weight of the snow already on the ponderosa pines outside the bedroom window, it would bedevil prospectors in the Superstitions, it would gladden the skiers at Sunrise.
It probably wasn't snowing in Mill Valley, where Robbie would have heard from me by now. The blizzard started the new year and marked in passing the death of love. I welcomed the snowblindness I hoped to run into with the morning. The sun did come out the next day; water was dripping happily off the roof. We hadn't drunk enough to be hungover, but I was suffering from the effects of a nuit blanche as well as terminal heartbreak.
After Carter cooked us his celebrated multigrain buttermilk pancakes, he said he was going to take Pojo for a walk. I begged off accompanying the boy and his dog. I checked, but there was nothing yet from Robbie. Carter and I treated each other with extreme solicitousness the rest of the day. We exchanged few words, but those words that were uttered were marked by high civility. It was late afternoon by the time I finally got a reply from Robbie:. You wondered at the intimate interconnection of our two lives; it's been pleasant and useful for us both, I think.
I'd like to continue to know you and to read occasionally by your light. Without a doubt, I have made a mess here for everyone, and I apologize. There can be no excuses for chicken-shit actions, only inadequate rationalizations. You asked only that our two minds bang into each other, but I leaned on you for more.
I need love. I have screwed things up for you, Carter, Suzanne, me, and Margaret and I am sorry. Beyond being sorry, I can't think of what else to do except try to compensate both you and Suzanne by either exiting your lives or turning into a less destructive and misleading force in them.