Oh My Antonia, the love of my life, how I always dreamed one day she would be The Good Wife I always wanted. I still remember the day, in the summer of 1984, when I went to The Lord of the Rings, the neighborhood jeweler, for that golden band. As I left, the sky was clouded and gray like Twilight, foreboding: Darkness at Noon. Perhaps I should have seen that as foreshadowing. I probably should have waited to book the honeymoon, but United had a great deal on A Passage to India. Oh, I do so wish we could’ve gone… And so, that very day I set On the Road. “To The Lighthouse!” I thought with exuberance, (for she lived in a lighthouse). I went to her abode, full of Great Expectations, and knocked. “Beloved,” I said, “You have exposed me to A Brave New World. I would do anything for you; go on an epic Odyssey, or Catch 22 of the world’s fastest cheetahs. The Heart of the Matter is I love you!” So I sunk to my knee and pleaded, “Please enter with me the sacred Social Contract of marriage, and become Mrs. Dalloway!” But forlorn, she looked at me and answered, “No.” The Sound and the Fury of that one tiny word broke my heart. “Oh, Go Tell It On the Mountain,” I sneered bitterly as I walked away. Her cold and sour Heart of Darkness resigned me to One Hundred Years of Solitude. I had never felt so Les Miserables than when I walked dejected from her porch. I should have had the Sense and Sensibility to see that coming! In Cold Blood she stabbed my heart; my life became An American Tragedy. I found out years later that I was simply too late, that a foreign military man had come into town, and she was already The French Lieutenant’s Woman. All I have left is the Remembrance of Things Past, the memory that I had once loved, once lived in An Age of Innocence. How Things Fall Apart, and my love that once consumed me is now Gone with the Wind.
A Librarian's Monologue
January 12, 2010