Autumn 1963 • Vol. XXV No. 4 FictionOctober 1, 1963 |

Fifty-Fifty

Leonard Wolf FIFTY-FIFTYOF LOVE, REPEAT TO YOURSELF THAT IT CAN ONLY BE A DISASTER; throw in the sponge, give up, back away-quit. Whatever you decide, you will come back to it, with or without advice, and, when you do, there she will be, waiting for you in some place she has no business to be, smiling, looking rueful, already with that expectant look in her eyes while you, who have also lived through various permutations of forgetfulness and taken vows never to see or imagine her again, give up. There's a busy destiny here that doesn't like frayed ends and therefore plaits away, braid- ing, braiding. You think it's sex, the bitten lower lip, the profile of the bosom behind the translucent pane of glass where an inexpensive lamp makes a silhouette. I know. Of that and those I know all; but that's not it; not the panting, the haste, the motels, the frantic swiftness in a parked car under a wet oak tree in a corner of a public park; not even the yeaming moments in a cornfield under the

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