Dear-Life

For years I thought I might run into him. […] It finally happened. Crossing a crowded street where you could not even slow down. Going in opposite directions. Staring, at the same time, a bare shock on our time-damaged faces. He called out, “How are you?” and I answered, “Fine.” Then added for good measure, “Happy.”
[…] It still seemed as if we could make our way out of that crowd, that in a moment we would be together. But just as certain that we would carry on in the way we were going. And so we did. No breathless cry, no hand on my shoulder when I reached the sidewalk. Just that flash, that I had seen in an instant, when one of his eyes opened wider. It was the left eye, always the left, as I remembered. And it always looked so strange, alert and wondering, as if some whole impossibility had occurred to him, one that almost made him laugh.
For me, I was feeling something the same as when I left Amundsen, the train carrying me still dazed and full of disbelief. Nothing changes really about love.
—  Alice Munro, from “Amundsen,” Dear Life (Douglas Gibson Books, 2012)
She gets up and quickly dresses and walks through every room in the house, introducing the walls and the furniture to this new idea. A cavity everywhere, most notably in her chest. She makes coffee and doesn’t drink it. She ends up in her bedroom once more, and finds that the introduction to the current reality has to be done all over again.
—  Alice Munro, from “Corrie,” Dear Life (Douglas Gibson Books, 2012)