|1.||The Human Species||Read it Now|
|2.||Fraud||Read it Now|
|3.||The Human Jukebox||Read it Now|
|4.||Internal Economies||Read it Now|
|5.||The Night Before Christmas||Read it Now|
|6.||Dodge||Read it Now|
|7.||Listen Closely||Read it Now|
|8.||Drivetime||Read it Now|
|9.||Cry Havoc||Read it Now|
|11.||The Attic||Read it Now|
|12.||To Burn||Read it Now|
|13.||Fandom||Read it Now|
|14.||Jackpot||Read it Now|
|15.||On Business||Read it Now|
|16.||Playing the Game||Read it Now|
|17.||In the Details||Read it Now|
|19.||Act of Grace||Read it Now|
|The air is alive with motion and silence, two weeks after the wedding. Huge flakes, grey against the sky and blue-white against the windows, are fighting ceaseless soundless battles overhead. The new bride is tipping the soggy remains of a bowl of cornflakes into the sink, looking out the window at the damp ground. The snow isn’t sticking. It just coats the ground in a slick, weak film of white. The path to the shed – where they put the freezer and the washing machine – is slushy, and their cat is mewling on the patio. |
She’s young, just twenty-three, with a degree in Politics and Philosophy. Currently she’s looking for a job. She liked school – she liked History and English and, for some reason, Biology. She loved Biology. She’s just thinking about it now: they passed round a little glass circle once that encased three bones from the human ear, the ossicles, and they were real human bones, or at least that what the teacher told them. And the girl sitting beside her, Tara Durcan, said: “Imagine what those bones have heard.” She did imagine it. She couldn’t stop imagining it, for hours and even days afterward, wondering if the physical sound was in some way recorded on the bone, imagining that someday it could be decoded and played like a record. That someone’s life could be sealed in a little glass circle and played out. Now she thinks, maybe our lives are more than the sum of everything we hear.
There is less to do than she had thought there would be. Somehow, she imagined herself industrious, cleaning and baking and arranging, but once something is clean, there is nothing to make it dirty again, and no need really to bake and certainly nothing worth arranging. Books on new bookshelves. Cushions on their new sofa. Best left the way they are. The new carpets are unmarked, unfaded. The new cooker and fridge have not had time to get a little grimy. Everything is pristine.
It might appear, then, that she is not very much in love. Two weeks after the wedding and it might appear that she is bored. She is not bored. In fact, for now, she is quite content to wander around her own beautiful little house and read and knit and watch some television. She can foresee herself being bored in the future, but now she is perfectly satisfied with the arrangement. Is she in love? She doesn’t feel very much in love at this particular moment, no. But then perhaps love is not a feeling; perhaps it just a thing, like the new carpet. It is just there, whether or not you are looking at it or thinking about it; it is simply a new feature, not requiring input.
And so she has been fitted with the fixtures of love. She has re-defined herself. She is renovated, full of bold and different terminology, new words with the same meanings. She does not know if she has connected two houses or simply extended herself. She continues to fall and soften like snow, with energy but no resolve, as all her school reports suggested.
She switches the oven on for lunch. She might have fish fingers or chicken nuggets or something like that. The house is very quiet, more quiet even than usual, like the snow insulates against sound. The bones of her ears could never tell this story. This life that’s led internally, in silence.
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