February 8, 2009

On baguettes and bonding

Still, Miranda looked forward to Sundays. In the morning she went to a deli and bought a baguette and little containers of things Dev liked to eat, like pickled herring, and potato salad, and tortes of pesto and mascarpone cheese. They ate in bed, picking up the herring with their fingers and ripping the baguette with their hands. Dev told her stories about his childhood, when he would come home from school and drink mango juice served to him on a tray, and then play cricket by a lake, dressed all in white.
--Sexy, from Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Reading this part again after finishing this story, it bothered me how passive Miranda became about her relationship with Dev. She didn't fight the ending at all, nor did she expect him to fight for her. The fleeting passion of shared experiences will never cease to bother me. How can it all mean nothing, in the end? I can't help but wonder...if two people knew that their little love story -- the ripping of baguettes, the recounting of childhood experiences, the talks in bed -- would eventually end, as T.S. Eliot wrote, "not with a bang, but a whimper," would they even bother in the first place?