person, or a kind person. Her love was simply bigger than the personal. It was bigger than the love individuals have for each other. Not to put too fine a point on it, if she did love Isador, it was not Isador personally but the revolution Isador represented that she loved. She loved the idea of people rising up against injustice and political terror, and insofar as Isador did this, she loved him entirely. This impersonal love, this political love was for June a deeper love, a more democratic love, the ethical love.
La idea es
, June,” he added, and she recalled learning this from him. “
La idea es
…” meaning anyway, whatever. “Would you like to come to Chile with us? You are my family too.” June had to put an end to this. He was going too far. Imagine she, his wife and children going to Santiago together—how awkward. Ridiculous. Not because there was anything between them, but on the contrary, they were strangers.
“Isador,” she said, “my work here is very important,” sweeping her arm in a gesture that took in the shabby office of the Women’s History Archive. “I cannot leave it, we have a crucial campaign coming up.” She said this to be kind to Isador and because his request had made her rememberwhy she had taken him in, apart from the sex. Of course there was no campaign, June’s political actions had become smaller and more personal. Her only activity now save working at the archive was a youth Drop-in, in what they called an at-risk neighbourhood. Maybe, she’d thought, maybe with kids, she could begin the process of human liberation sooner. Though actually kids did not need liberating except from normative training. So it was an anti-colonial project of a sort to defend children from the state. The state was merely a dominating machine, anathema to the whole idea of a liberatory life. So Emma Goldman had said, and June was reading Emma Goldman’s
Living My Life
, more closely now.
There had been three revolutionaries: Isador, Eliazar and Everado. Dangerous as they all seemed, only Isador had looked her completely and freshly in the eyes. This she’d always taken as a sign of his honesty, even though she came to learn and despise his sloppiness later. The women who took Everado home ended up being beaten. Some had mused at the time that Everado had been brutalised so much that he thought it was common manners to do the same, but June thought this kind of justification was bullshit. Eliazar had a wife in Germany and perhaps that might have been the more economical choice to make giventhat any encounter would definitely be brief, but Isador had had the clearer eyes.
Isador was placated by June’s explanation and June invited him to lunch to shore up the notion that she was not being harsh and inhospitable or ungrateful of his gesture. Lunch could only be a half hour, she said quickly, forestalling the possibility of a tedious time. Half an hour took two hours all together as Isador went through photographs of his family and his life. June was genuinely interested, marvelling at the great change in him. In the end it was as if she had never known him.
Sometimes people are so utterly different from one year to the next. If June had seen this Isador years ago, she would have fled also, admittedly. Still she would have been more sympathetic maybe. Perhaps, she thought, perhaps it is not so complicated, seeing that human beings themselves are not complicated, just their ability to discern is complicated by all the signals they have to receive and send. Some prehistoric June was always in the process of calculating light, and flight, the sensory information necessary for surviving. And so easily one sensor or one feeler can be off. And June’s sensors were invariably off a degree or two. So back then she only received a certain signal from Isador, the way one receives, through light, the colour yellow, butnot its ascending colour orange or the descending colour green. That is, she had