the prisoner’s wife-asha bandele

“you can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather”

“Love and insecurity are an ill-fated couple. Yet there they are, together all the time, rolling around in the bed, accusing and assauging, and then accusing each other again and again.
My thing was running. Always had been.” (117)

“They remind me that, too often, I do not live in the today of my life, but in a yesterday that never was, and a tomorrow which may never be.” (167)

this was one that we read together. the other was ender’s game. the idea came on the subway from his friend wearing a shirt that was too tight. it was supposed to be a book that we each had really loved, presumably from a time past-and for him it was, but for me-it was this book of the present that seemed to be pre/sent and i passed it to him before it had to go back to the library. i think i wanted to compare our notes on it, and perhaps one day that can still happen.

“If Rashid’s life was a feature film, mine was a trailer. Mine had no dialogue, no clear storyline.” (77)

“There’s a difference between wanting to die and not wanting to live…..Wanting to die is an active stance….Not wanting to live is simply a retreat….” (75)

and there is a difference between wanting to stay together and not wanting to be alone. i don’t want to give up, but i don’t want to go on the way things are-i need to see that things can and will change, and i need to take a few steps back and examine my “sacrifices” to what makes me myself.

“It was not that we didn’t love each other, my first husband and I. It was that love was all we had. And we needed so much more. All couples do.” (26)

“And for many people, the absence of language is not enough reason to end a marriage. But for me it was the primary reason to do it.” (27)

i liked this book because it was suggested by the most famous (living) political prisoner and a thinker and writer that i really respect. i like that it came out of a conversation that happened in prison about prison life, and it is a story about a young woman involved with a prisoner, negotiating her own prison. it makes me think deeply about all of our bars.

“How can I explain the way faith constructs itself within the narrow architecture of correctional institutions? They’re not natural, these facilities, there’s not ever enough space for a human being to live. And because of this, you have no choice, really. In order to survive, you must expand not only what you believe, but also how you go about believing it. You must expand it until you’re nearly like a small child, accepting the implausible, the fantastic.” (37)

“The way abuse works is by erasing the honour of itself even as it is occurring. But not only the horror, also its victim, her opinions, what she sees and feels.” (84)

“Because she could not be hostile to the man who was her ranking officer, this female officer was hostile to me. So much for sisterhood being global. It wasn’t even local.” (48)

“The van which transports up to fourteen people to the prison is always overwhelmed by the smell of bacon-and-egg sandwiches, coffee and hot chocolate, inexpensive perfume, hair pomade, nail polish, and skin laced with that last, desperately smoked cigarette. The air locks like a hangman’s noose, a noose we have slipped our own necks into.” (41)

“I told them that no woman has ever gotten a love letter until they’ve gotten a love letter from a man in prison.” (30)

well, i don’t know about a love letter-but i have received a few “courting” letters from a felon, and i must say-it was quite uncomfortable, and would’ve been even if i wasn’t in a relationship. i imagine it must be tough-to not have a way to connect with anyone, and to have someone pay attention to you after almost two decades-a stranger. i know all about imaginary relationships-i would probably run away with such a proposition-fuck it, i know i have. but i provided what none of those folks could or did give me-i told the truth and clearly stated my feelings and actions to cease and desist. sometimes, the mystery is just better, but that’s why we cling to it. i’m making my way back (again) to the truth.

i just finished watching season one of homeland, and i must say that claire danes is the shit. her and jared leto are just shining right now. too bad wilmer valderama has just spent the last decade taking naked selfies of his famous girlfriends. oh well-there’s time. where rayanne at?

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