Samedi the Deafness by Jesse Ball

The idea was that there was three types of people. The first were those who became immediately angry about what had just happened, and who then thereafter lessened in their anger. Any danger from such a person came in the moments after the first difficulty.

The second type seemed only slightly angry about what had happened. They might even say to you, Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s just fine. It’s fine. But as time passes they become more and more angry. An hour after the incident, they are steaming. Two hours and they would murder you with their bare hands if they could. Their anger then enters into a long winter, hibernating, and when and if they can, they will do you unconscionable and incommensurate wrong.

The third type is not troubled much by what you did. Although it was in fact one of their favourite belongings, and although they realise precisely what it meant to them, precisely how sad it is that the object in question is gone, and also precisely how inconsiderate you must have been to have broken the thing in the first place, nonetheless they forgive you for it, and the matter is not spoken of again, save perhaps in soft and gentle jest.

I saw in the distance a harbour approaching, a harbour walking arm in arm with the sea, and upon the sea great catastrophes of ships, constellations of storm and fright. Distances. How much then I knew that distance was always our greatest enemy, distance was always the obstacle that could not be overcome. Steam trains brought us closer. Airplanes. Elevators. Rockets. But how can we be beside the one we love on that particular day when it would suddenly, inexplicably, mean the most? For small distances, a street, a room, the length of an arm, these divide like a sword. They are the worst, the most devilish, the most puzzling. Ask me again when I go into the hall, will I hate to be parted from you, will I call out the moment I am finished with what I must do? Instead, my love, arrive. Arrive quietly as I finish. Surely that is within your power.

Lies are often simply stated desires. How can such a thing be untrue? It’s untrue only in reception, not in the manner of its appearance.

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