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.”

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With that in mind, back to work …

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