Monday, April 15, 2013

Sickbed

It was a rare pleasure to have Sean read to me while I was sick. He would have refused but I said, "When you were a baby, you used to stop me and wrestle with me every time I read a book. So, now, it's your turn to please me. Just one page, please." I closed my eyes and listened to the first paragraphs of Milan Kundera's "The Great Return," published by old Granta. First his voice sounded diffident, unsure. Then, he developed confidence and became daring as he gained paragraphs. My headache started to subside. Eventually, his eyes began to jump. "Voluntarily, not voluntary," I corrected. He turned to me. "How come you knew it was 'voluntarily,' not 'voluntary'?" he asked, "Your eyes were closed." "I simply knew it," I said. I was about to explain but quickly he cut me short. "If you already knew everything, even with your eyes closed," he said, "Then, I don't have to read to you at all." He put the book down and walked away.