Christine Dwyer Hickey

The Lives of Women

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    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    And she cries because Karl’s father hits Karl’s mother and men rape their wives and go off with other women and sometimes even go off with their daughters’ friends.
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    ‘Oh, busy as ever, you know. Busy.’
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    Whatever else about him, I could never say he was mean with his money.
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    ‘But to raise your hand to a blind girl, Elaine. A blind girl. God knows what the Hanleys will say. Do you think she’ll tell? Do you think they saw? Mary sits in the back room of an evening, doesn’t she? Or does she still sit out in that shed reading? Was Ted’s car there?’
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    ‘Here? Oh no, I don’t think so. I couldn’t take that responsibility.’
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    ‘Of course I had. I wasted my life. We only get the one. And I wasted it. Giving it up, to this… to this man I hardly knew. I was twenty-one when I married. I had my few friends, a job I liked. Started at seventeen and was promoted twice, you know. In those days, you had to leave work when you got married. Yes. Give everything away. Your job. Your independence. Even your name. And when he left, I thought – well what a waste of bloody time that was! A stupid, shameful waste. I’ll admit, though, at first I was a little worried about money. How would we manage? But we did manage of course. The new one, you see… well, I didn’t imagine she’d be keen on him throwing too much our way and the thoughts of having to chase after it, month after month… I was cute, though – I told him stuff your maintenance, just sign over the house.’
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    You know, this is why we divorced – your intolerance, your blatant disregard for my feelings…’
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    It was the first time I’d met Serena’s father. The first American man I’d seen up close and in action. He was not a handsome man; he was stocky and his feet seemed a little small for his body. His movements were abrupt. But I do remember being struck by his physical confidence, his startling masculinity. The way he looked right into your eyes when he spoke or turned his head to follow the sway of a
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    But Elaine knows that’s not true: Serena just wants everyone to feel better. Serena just wants to be kind.
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    Her mother says: ‘I’m not sure about this mixing of generations. I mean, I don’t know how the other women feel but I certainly don’t want my daughter listening to all that adult conversation
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    And the way they won’t know where they’re going until they get there.
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    Elaine often thinks, is better than reading a book: the way she wraps a story around you and people you’ve never met become so real, and the rest of the world and everyone in it just doesn’t matter.
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    mother was the loneliest woman I have ever known.
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    The same keys that are kept in a drawer by his bed. The same keys that I have to ask for, every night, putting my hand out like a child, just so I can lock up the house. The keys I have to give straight back to him as soon as I’m done.
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    I want him to live. I want him to live till he runs out of money and can no longer afford to pay Lynette or the cleaner. I want him to live until he is beholden to me and my willingness to stay in this house.

    I want him to live long and hard, and above all lonely
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    to this house, walked into this kitchen, put on my mother’s apron and picked up exactly where she left off. And now, without saying a word, he’s telling me to stuff it. He’s saying he’d rather die than eat another mouthful of her cooking. And I know exactly how he feels.
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    answer is simple: I make it because it’s the sandwich my mother would have made. It’s the sort of sandwich I ate in my own childhood and the sort I saw my father eat countless
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    ‘Maybe that’s why people here so insecure,’ she finally decides, ‘never know what come next.’
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    I begin, ‘all I miss about New York, I sometimes think, are the seasons: the well-defined, no-ifs-or-buts about it seasons. I like knowing when it’s time to pack one lot of clothes away and take out another. I like knowing which direction the heating bills are going. In summer the humidity will wipe you out; in winter the snow will move in and take over your life. But generally speaking, spring comes at spring time. Autumn in the fall. I’m not saying the weather is completely predictable – and we do have our treacherous days. But? At least you more or less know where you are. And, well, I miss that.’
    Dariahas quoted2 years ago
    Because she couldn’t see the point of the man who had just passed under her window and through the front door. This man who ate dinner on his own, read newspapers on his own, went racing on his own. Even spoke to unknown people on his own private telephone
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