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Articles tagged "Marriage"

The Latch

On the thirteenth night of his marriage, sixteen-year-old Mannuram Chidimar is sleeping with his back turned to his fifteen-year-old bride, Sunwati. Sleeping with Sunwati is proving more torturous than exciting, more painful than enjoyable. He doesn't know how Sunwati feels. He’s not at all sleepy. Overcome by embarrassment, he feels as though he’s being watched from the windows and the door. It feels as though he’s taking one of life’s difficult exams. From...

The Vegetarian

Before my wife turned vegetarian, I’d always thought of her as completely unremarkable in every way. To be frank, the first time I met her I wasn’t even attracted to her. Middling height; bobbed hair neither long nor short; jaundiced, sickly-looking skin; somewhat prominent cheekbones; her timid, sallow aspect told me all I needed to know. As she came up to the table where I was waiting, I couldn’t help but notice her shoes—the plainest black shoes imaginable. And...

A Mexican Story

My friend Lencho Mejía has been murdered thirty-seven times in Los Angeles, five in Tijuana, and once in a Romanian-Argentinian co-production filmed in Honduras, which came very close to being nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Only twice, though, has he had the chance to say anything before dropping dead: “You fucking bastard!” On both occasions. He had to say it quickly and quietly, but he put a lot of feeling into it. Everything he learned from...

from “The Amman Bride”

We really needed to talk. This was a difficult situation that we needed to find a way out of. He absolutely refused to share me with anyone else, and he wasn't prepared to lead a life with me where he was in the shadows, constantly in second place after my family. And he certainly didn't want to be my secret lover or be complicit in deceiving someone else, an innocent person. But I do want to get married and to have a family, both of which would be impossible with him. I...

Musical Beds, Catalan Style

If you've finished the issue and are still in the mood, check out Empar Moliner's rollicking "Invention of the Aspirin" in our October 2007 Catalan issue. A bored wife finds she has the ability to slip into other women's identities—and their bedrooms. Shapeshifting from secretary to teen to porn star, and whirling in and of bed with, among others, her daughter's boyfriend and the president, she embraces this cure for her ennui. The result is inevitable and (at least...

To Troy, Helen

                         The two lay down together on the bed. Atreus's son paced through the crowd, like a wild beast, searching for some glimpse of godlike Alexander.   Iliad, book 3: 284ff.   I parked the car four blocks beyond the house. Felt like I was following a plan that I had rehearsed a hundred times. What sense did it make? Helen would not know I had come, did not even know I was on my...

The Hole in the Garden, Part II

The woman showed up exactly one month to the day after the pigʼs arrival. I had just finished cleaning the house and was thinking about feeding the pig before I started waxing the floors when the doorbell rang. The woman on the intercom video screen looked like she was some kind of salesperson. I decided to pretend I wasnʼt home. Then, however, she leaned forward and brought her lips—caked thick with lipstick—up to the microphone. “Iʼm Hanamura, I work...

Bonsai

Our bodies are like Bonsai trees. Not one innocent leaf can grow freely, without being viciously suppressed, so narrow is our ideal of appearance —Khyentsé Norbu   After I got married, I always spent Sunday afternoons at the botanical gardens in Aoyama. It was a way of taking a break from work and from household chores—if I stayed home on the weekend, Midori, my wife, would always end up asking me to fix something. After breakfast, I would take a book and...

The Well

When Rafa‘a died, the last human desires in the bosoms of the people of Huzum village were extinguished, most of all in the bosoms of its women.  The burning desire for Rafa'as comeuppance sputtered out, for when a person dies, her memory grows flimsy and her human presence melts away…  She is no longer a threat to us because she is better and more beautiful than we are; instead, she becomes a weak creature because she dies insignificantly like every human...

The Guest

She has become more like her grandmother than her mother, Hend thinks to herself. She remembered how she used to squirm in her grandmother’s lap, an angry child with a bare bottom. She was hard to keep up with as a child, light and thin, teething and crawling and speaking well before any of her brothers did. She proved that she was a creature capable of surviving and flourishing on the barest necessities of life. Her mother often left her to her own devices. She would crawl up the...

The Story of a Homosexual: An Interview with Ni Dongxue

I met Ni Dongxue in 2006, in a quiet and nicely decorated gay bar through two musician friends who played in a band there. The bar is located in the city’s Moziqiao region, a popular nightlife spot. A pioneer and recognized leader in Chengdu’s gay community, the then-thirty-six-year-old Ni graduated from Beijing Teachers’ University with a master’s degree in psychology. Ni wore heavy makeup and a bright yellow shirt. He said he visited the place every week to...

Unagi

On July 16, 2009, a young woman who was dining out with her husband in a Japanese restaurant in downtown Montreal died instantly when a concrete block fell from the front of the building and landed exactly where she was seated. This is not her story. She looked at her watch (5:15 p.m.), then brought to her lips the glass of water the waiter had just set in front of her. There was a small stain on the cuff of his white shirt that could have been soy sauce. The smell of chlorine filled...

The Dogs in Thessaloniki

We had our morning coffee in the garden. We scarcely said a word.  Beate got up and put the cups on a tray.  We might as well put the chairs up on the veranda, she said.  What for? I said.  It looks like rain, she said.  Rain? I said, there's not a cloud in the sky.  There's a nip in the air, she said, can’t you feel it?  No, I said. Maybe I’m wrong, she said.  She went up the veranda steps and into the living room. I remained...

Delphine’s Illness

I don’t go often. Don’t stay long. Each time I tell myself it’s the last. I was heading toward the gate, when a large tombstone caught my eye. It was a recent one, from this year: Delphine H., born Handshoewerckerten. I thought back on what the man from the funeral home had said: you want gold-plated lettering for the engraving? It’s twenty euros a letter.” He plugged the numbers into his calculator. “I won’t count the comma.” A...

Lou’s Last Letter to Feri’s Wife

See here Christine, don’t you give me that crap alright? Don’t go telling me what you told me Christine, ‘cause I’m not buying it, the thing about Feri going to T-Mobile and having them tap the voice mail on your cell phone. Don’t give me that. Feri’s not like that, alright? Feri’s got a head, but he ain’t got no fuckin’ brains to go with it. He’d have never thought of it and I’m not buying it. That, what was it, that...

Dummy Run

He liked his supper at six. To come home from the office, briefly look at the newspaper and then find his meal on the table, that was the way he liked it. When they were just married, Margaret had fitted in with that routine. She had never known anything different in fact; her parents had done it just the same. But a few years ago her attitude had changed. Often it would be seven o'clock, half past seven or as late as eight. Sometimes she wasn't even in when he came home from work....

Immolation

Husband and wife contemplate the silhouette of the tower. The woman feels particularly affectionate, and she hugs her husband. "I really wanted to make this trip." They kiss. The husband caresses his wife's hair. They look at the tower again. "What time do we have to be in Florence?" the woman asks. "In the evening. Are you hungry? Should we get the car and go have lunch someplace close by?" "Yes, but let's go to the top of the tower first." "The tower? No way."...

Islamorada

During the twilight hours of one day in January, the professor and his wife arrived at a small motel on the beach at Islamorada, and checked in. After the New Year’s Eve parties, the place had emptied of guests.  It was hot and humid. Seaweed and snails piled up along the main road. Alongside the boats that docked in the marina, pelicans stood like statues on beams of rotted wood. The couple were exhausted and sweaty after their long drive.  They showered, changed into...

from “Soul Mate”

My father-in-law, Feibush, arrived unannounced at my doorstep in the middle of the week. I was writing out a mezuzah and so, fortunately, my cabinet of secular books was closed. Feibush’s eyes brightened when he saw the parchment, the quill in my hand, and the large yarmulke upon my head. Only when his gaze rested upon the closed book cabinet did a kind of cloud descend over his face. I suspected that he knew full well what trials and tribulations hid upon those shelves. And though...

A Car Trip

After Nikolaj slams the car door shut they realize that Tobias isn't in the car. “Damnit,” he says, and looks at Mie, who unbuckles her seatbelt and gets out. He watches her walk back to the house, he sees her fumble with the key. “When are we there?” Signe asks, and Little Brother begins to cry. Nikolaj turns and reaches down to grab the pacifier, but it scoots away underneath the front seat. “Give him the pacifier,” he says to Andreas, who is...

from “the workers’ apocalypse”

               God is our cleaning woman                                         Adília Lopes                  for nélio paulo at...

From “You Do Understand?”

A Day I Loved You I lay there with my eyes closed, waiting for my husband to vacate his half of the bed. To go to work, of course. He’ll get a sandwich on the corner. He’ll have a coffee during his first meeting. Then he’ll call home. To make sure that I’m still here, and haven’t run away. I’m not going to. I’m going to open that box of old snapshots again. There were no hard drives back in those days. I’ll go through it all photo by...

The Fork

This takes place one radiant Sunday in April, in a restaurant in a town at the foot of a mountain on which there is still snow at the peak. At lunchtime, when the majority of tables are still empty, two couples, nearer to sixty than to fifty, arrive. One of the men walks into the dining room engrossed in a sports paper. It’s clear that they come to this restaurant a lot, because they greet the owner informally, kiss cheeks and talk about how long it’s been since they’ve...

from “Manazuru”

I walked on, and something followed. Enough distance still lay between us that I couldn't tell if it was male or female. It made no difference, I ignored it, kept walking. I had set out before noon from the guest house on the inlet, headed for the tip of the cape. I stayed there last night, in that small building set amid an isolated cluster of private houses, run by a man and woman who, judging from their ages, were mother and son. It was nearly nine when I arrived, two hours on a...

The Rooms Out Back

My husband and I always rise at 7:30 when the shadow of the cat crossing the tiled roof of our neighbor's house forms a silhouette on our bedroom curtain. Who can figure out why that cat, without any training, has made it his routine to cast his shadow on our curtains every morning but because that is what the cat does every morning, its silhouette has become for the two of us a kind of alarm. I said we rise at 7:30 but we actually wake up at 4:30—before our baby's first...

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