Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Zora Neale Hurston | Their Eyes Were Watching God | 1937

Dear Janie,

I used to think you and I were so different. So much divided us in terms of race and class and time and space. About two years ago I was very far away from you, I thought. I was working in Chicago at an advertising agency and had just started dating a guy who I will call Stuart. He was in finance. He had big plans. He used to come over to my small apartment and go on for a half-hour about the way he'd take control of the world. I believed him, and more than that -- he made me kind of drunk with the way that he could put the world in his sights. We got married. It was fantastic for a while. He wanted me day and night. That's too delicate. I am slipping back into something people would say in the thirties. He liked to have sex. He wanted my body. Once he put his hand up my skirt in a movie theatre and that was thrilling. But then about six months ago Stuart just shut off to me. It happened almost overnight. Now he won't let me talk, either to him or to anyone else. I mean it. When he catches me talking to someone on the street or the phone he glares at me. He's Joe Starks, come back to life, which I guess means I'm you. What happened to Joe? He took sick and died, right? And Tea Cake came after that?