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Housekeeping


ISSUE:  Spring 1997

A woman and a man stumble in the forest. She recognizes the forest,
she knows the fairy tale in sunlight on wild roses, in hot wind
stopping and starting. She thinks, We are looking for a house that we
lost somewhere. There will be an abandoned house, almost a
mansion, cracking boards with paint worn away. We felt it when we
were lost in the woods, when we were lost in making love. Do not let
us be on these grounds, exposed, when night comes on; we must not
be stumbling, running, falling in the bushes. She is afraid to find a
house because they will find a witch living in the house. She gets
furious with her lover because he can’t see what will happen, because
he is so nervous, so dependent on her. Then they get separated; of
course they get separated without warning: there is no transition, one
minute he is simply not there. She finds the house, which looks
almost exactly like her nightmare of an abandoned house, almost a
mansion, cracking boards with paint worn away. Standing in an
empty vestibule, walking up a staircase with no banister, she fears he
has died alone in the forest and she caused his death with her anger.
She sees at once that the house belongs to a witch. It was necessary
that I find the house alone, she thinks, I could only find my house
alone. She is certain she killed him with her anger. She stays inside
and waits: standing in a vestibule, walking up a staircase, she thinks
of him; she sits at the top of the stairs and waits until he appears at
the bottom of the stairs, then she thinks, He died and returned as a
ghost to torment me.

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