Love Enough

Love Enough by Dionne Brand Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Love Enough by Dionne Brand Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dionne Brand
Street. Everything about Beatriz was covert, esoteric andriven with intrigue—the way her gaze summed June up in the fifth row and settled somewhere around June’s lips before moving off again. June was jealous when Beatriz’s eyes moved on and settled on someone else. But they returned and stroked June’s throat. Beatriz’s voice was like sandpaper and after that occult interrogation the whole speech was merely a love letter to their impending affair. This was a woman who woke up with a start at one a.m. every night searching for a revolver. Or at June’s neck hoarsely asking,
“Quien te mandó y que quieres de mi?”
Who sent you to me, indeed.
    Why, why did she always end up with some frightened person in her bed? June had decided not to think too deeply about that. After all, sex was just sex and there was no need to double think it unless you were Catholic or born-again Christian, and June despised these ideologies. If not for the paranoia, and perhaps because of it, Beatriz was the only one June considered keepable. Beatriz had her own life and her own thoughts and wanted nothing from her. Assigned to international work, the Sandinistas called her “undisciplined in the field.” The fifteen thousand bombed by Somoza in Estelí had turned Beatriz’s blood to adrenaline. That would drive anyone mad, June reasoned. She was so fierce she had become a liability to Ortega.She had been decommissioned to diplomacy. Beatriz disappeared, naturally, leaving cigarette burns on the floor beside the bed. She was going to finish the Somocistas off, she said.
Quien, Quien te mandó?
Who sent you to me?
    When Pinochet was eventually deposed, and this was seventeen years later, Isador appeared on her doorstep. He arrived at the Women’s History Archive where June worked, and she did not recognise him. He looked like a placid man, his cheeks had puffed out, his mouth opened to an avuncular smile. Not the half smile he’d had to the dangerous left side of his face, not the tight jeans or the tight body. Maybe that was all fear back then. It makes some people skinny, the nerves eat away at fat then at muscle. This Isador looked well-fed and happy, content. He said he was going back to Chile, taking his children to see where he was born. He hoped it hadn’t changed and he hoped that it had changed. He came with a little bunch of roses. How sentimental, June thought, then restrained that bitter side of her and thanked him. And why did you find me, she wanted to ask, and what on earth would we have to talk about now?
    June, despite what she thought of herself, was simply utilitarian. She could not understand the finer sentimentsof regular people or a concept like friendship. And so, especially when she’d had sex with someone, the warm seconds of human understanding that the other person may have added up, the tiny affections for inclined heads and dimples, the expressions of love, these nostalgias escaped her. So when Isador referred to their time together, which did indeed amount to seven months, and his gratitude to her for helping him through the first months of his life in the country, June was embarrassed. She would never have taken her Chilean for this kind of man.
    “I wanted to see you before going back to Santiago. To thank you.”
    “No need, Isador … it was the struggle … you know,
la lucha continual
.” June tried to laugh it off but Isador persisted. Obviously he had created a story where she, June, was some kind of heroine.
June,” he said, still pronouncing June with an “h” sound at the beginning, “
June … you saved my life … I loved you.” In the face of this declaration, what could June do? She thanked him kindly. There was another uncomfortable moment when she did not follow her gratitude with a reciprocal declaration of love. Even love past. His love hung in the archive. June didn’t know what to do with it.
    It was not that June was not a warm person, or a generous

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