Beatrix says to me:
- You have two years.
- Sounds like a death sentence.
- Consider yourself lucky.
- I do. That doesn't change the fact that you're being an idiot.
- You can go now. Why do you need two years with an idiot?
- We're all equal in spirit, not equal in knowledge. Being smart is a job like others, has its advantages and disadvantages. Jobs aren't so important.
- What is?
- Two years of love, if you can call it that.
- I have greater ambitions.
- You can go now too.
- You know I can't.
- Why not?
- You know.
- Legal benefits of marriage to an American. Why not just marry someone else?
- I've already got you.
- So you have. Seems like a waste, what you plan to do with what you've got.
- I'll use you up and throw you away. Nothing wasted.
- Sure you won't miss me?
- Aren't you happy now? Driving back home from a day in San Diego, a husband, a car, a home waiting in Los Angeles, coffee cup at your side, school going well, no money difficulties. What else do you need?
- Just let me drive.
We find a parking space not far from where we live, and Beatrix says she's going on ahead, I can take in the small things we'd bought in San Diego for the apartment. This is meant to be received as open contempt, and it is so received by me.
It is a beautiful night. I unload the trunk, lean back against the car, look at the trees above swaying in the mild breeze.
Is it wrong that I appreciate beauty where I find it, the beauty of that spirit that is equal to mine, locked in a battle with mine, as long as I am smart about it?