The Dial, 1941-1804-1941

This is love, she thought, isn’t it? When you notice someone’s absence and hate that absence more than anything? More, even, than you love his presence? Each knew of how he had waited for the Kolker by the window every day, how she became acquainted with its surface, learned where it had melted slightly, where it was slightly discolored, where it was opaque. She felt its tiny wrinkles and bubbles. Like a blind woman learning language, she moved her fingers over the window, and like a blind woman learning language, she felt liberated. The frame of the window was the walls of the prison that set her free. She loved what it felt like to wait for the Kolker, to be entirely dependent on him for her happiness, to be, as ridiculous as she had always thought it sounded, someone’s wife. She loved her new vocabulary of simply loving something more than she loved her love for that thing, and the vulnerability that went along with living in the primary world. Finally, she thought, finally. I only wish Yankel could know how happy I am.

Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer, pp. 121-2


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