Seeing in the Dark, Arielle’s Story
Seeing in the Dark, Arielle’s Story

In combat with private foes

Another argument with Stuart occurred in which reason took a back seat to the effluent of some unknowable need. This time it was not withholding funds for punishment, as he did previously but withholding himself, even to his disadvantage. The concept is familiar, inflicting pain on others by depriving oneself, though differing vastly in degree, as when Buddhist monks self-immolate in protest, or spouses refuse conjugal relations. Stuart's protest seemed to me like Don Quixote railing against an adversary of pure imagination, and inadvertently I was his Sancho Panza. Stuart emerged unscathed from this new episode but inflicted a wound to our marriage which eventually he would feel as bitterly as I, although not then, so fiercely was he in combat with his private foes.

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