Jeffrey Eugenides' "The Marriage Plot" is not really about marriage, and while love and what it brings is a factor, this novel is really about self-discovery and the painful transition that often comes with entering adulthood.
You twitch in your sleep.
At first, your face is peaceful,
a swell of silence, a blank lullaby,
waiting, twiddling its thumbs for lyrics
written by Queen Mab's calligraphy.
Instead, the honest Puck
Sneaks up with dustings of tripped
Up fairy musk, curling up
Your nose with its more or less distasteful
Like an old dog twitching at a
Bad dream, you shoo away Hermia's
Irksome trouble, or at least, you try.
It frightens me a little, the way
Your body stutters, as if the
Weird Sisters are casting Macbeth's
Prophecies, and nights of
If I could, I would brush away
The spider beds, inked with dew and anxieties
From your head.
I love to see the lullaby when you sleep.
We should have recognized the omens the night we cruised into Santa Fe. When snowdrifts obscured the friendly signs and covered the windows of strangers that would normally welcome visitors like us; when blizzard-like conditions caused every automobile to creep along the interstate in fear that an overcorrection of the wheel might fatefully crush metal and bones upon impact with red rock encased in ice; when we finally arrived at our hotel room, exhausted after twelve hours on the road, and it appeared as though a drug dealer or wild animal had inhabited the place for months -- crooked picture frames and dank, mustard-colored sheets left behind as ruffled remnants of his nightly terrors, induced by bad trips, bad dreams, or bad luck.
Oh, the forbidden office romance. So exciting. So taboo.
The pungent, stinging stench of tea tree oil diffuses rapidly in the stale air of the cramped apartment. I study the little bits of stray matter highlighted by the ray of sun beaming through the window, imagining them choking and coughing on scent. Is it possible to die from a smell? It's supposed to kill lice with its antibacterial properties; does that go for all insects? I'm going to have to Google that. The steady hiss of the shower abruptly shuts off. I hear whistling and the vinyl snap of the shower curtain being flung open, and then the slap of wet feet hitting the linoleum floor. He must have shoved the bathmat against the door again.