Saturday, April 28, 2012

"...I wonder what Jeannie thinks of me now. She didn’t even hate him, she must miss him. She’ll enjoy being a young widow, she’ll be used to it by now. She’ll be good at it. It wasn’t really my fault. Not if you look at it properly. I didn’t want to do it, I hardly knew I was doing it. I didn’t hate him. That really is true. I didn’t know him, and I didn’t hate him. I don’t think I would have done even if I had known him. Jeannie talked about him sometimes, always bad, but she wasn’t trying to make me hate him. She wasn’t interested in making him into a real person, she wasn’t telling me biography, she said what she had to say to make us both feel good. I might have liked him if I hadn’t been screwing his wife. I didn’t hate him, and I don’t hate him now. He may have ruined what was left of my life, but it was going to happen anyway. It was the next step downwards. I didn’t know it was there, I thought there weren’t any more, but it was there and I would have taken it some time. It was bad luck for both of us but more my fault than his. I try to imagine him still alive. He didn’t deserve to die, even Jeannie never suggested he’d be better dead, she didn’t tell me anything really bad about him, something he should die for. I wish he was still alive, then I could forget him. Most things you can walk away from. Most problems disappear if you go and leave them. Most of the bad things we do have never happened once they’re done. If it had only been adultery he need never have known. He would have suspected, he must have realized she was a tart but he need never have known. If he’d let me walk away that night he could have joined in the game and he could have had a faithful wife still if he chose to. Most things we do happen in the past and the mind can make them go away if it wants to. You can’t ignore death. That was the mistake I made. Death is in the present. You can say I fucked your wife, and it goes away into the past and the memory does what it wants, but you have to say your husband is dead, still dead in the present. The present can only be what it is, that’s part of the game, and some of us always lose. He is dead. I can’t remember it the way I want to because it’s still happening, and I can’t make the rules in the present, I’ve never been able to do it. If I could he would still be alive and he’d have Jeannie, which is the way it should be. That’s why he’s dead. It can’t be the way it should be.

Maybe the lawyer was right and there was a chance the jury would go for it. Maybe now if I were a free man, after all the months I’ve had to put it behind me, I might now be glad that I could go on living, and I might have found somewhere to do it and a way to do it. Maybe if I’d given up the way I wanted to I would regret it and wish I’d tried to do it differently. Part of the way he did it was so that I couldn’t blame him if it didn’t work out. I understand that now. And now I don’t care any more about making the truth known than they did. He’s still out there fighting for me, trying to stop them killing me tomorrow. I don’t really care whether he does it or not. If they don’t do it tomorrow they’ll do it in a month’s time, or a year’s, and there’s nothing in here to stay alive all that time for. He says there’s still a chance it’ll be commuted, so I can spend another thirty years here. I understand why he has to do it, but I don’t want him to. The chair is the only way out of here. If they take that away, there’s nowhere left to run to."

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