A decade ago, I brought home the 4 books that comprise The Alexandria Quartet, by Lawrence Durrell. I’ve tried to start the first book several times, yet they remain on the shelf, unread.
Maybe — someday — I’ll be ready to read them.
Yesterday, I texted my brother to ask a question. We don’t really talk, but we text. We had a long conversation, about as long as you can have via text message without losing your mind, which ended with this exchange. ME: Our mother is literally rolling over in her grave. HIM: She’s been doing that for years. I laughed — was that meant to be funny? — but there was no one to share the laugh with, and I wondered, for the first time in a long time, what my brother was thinking, if he’d been joking, or was he serious, did I misunderstand?, was he waiting for a response, or no. Was he having a laugh too?
Maybe — someday — I’ll be ready to ask him.
Later in the day, I set aside the memoir I’m working on (speaking of decades) and read this article about The Alexandria Quartet. These words stepped out to greet me: If the books are about love, they are also about hate. About empire, power, Palestine, nationalism, money, deceit, assassination, alliances, spying, religion, friendship, betrayal … Now we know how literally we should have taken the statement: “Love is every sort of conspiracy.”
With that in mind, back to work …