Raymond Carver, geboren 1938 in Clatskanie, Oregon ist ein amerikanischer Schriftsteller und Dichter. Seinen ersten großen Erfolg feierte er mit der Veröffentlichung von Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (1976).
What We Talk about When We Talk about Love (1981) ist eine Sammlung von 17 Kurzgeschichten, die im typischen Carver-Stil „drinking and smoking and talking“ erzählt werden.
Why don’t you dance?
“She kept talking. She told everyone. There was more to it, and she was trying to get it talked out. After a time, she quit trying.”
“My heart is broken,” she goes. “It’s turned to a piece of stone. I’m no good. That’s what’s as bad as anything, that I’m no good anymore.”
“Something’s died in me,” she goes. “It took a long time for it to do it, but it’s dead. You’ve killed something, just like you’d took an axe to it. Everything is dirt now.”
“Drinking’s funny. When I look back on it, all of our important decisions have been figured out when we were drinking.”
“But we had stopped caring, and that’s a fact. We knew our days were numbered. We had fouled our lives and we were getting ready for a shake-up.”
“There was this funny thing of anything could happen now that we realized everything had.”
I Could See the Smallest Things
“But nobody was moving around. There were no scary shadows. Everything lay in moonlight, and I could see the smallest things.”
“I thought for a minute of the world outside my house, and then I didn’t have any more thoughts except the thoughts that I had to hurry up and sleep.”
A Serious Talk
“He was not certain, but he thought he had proved something. He hoped he had made something clear. The thing was, they had to have a serious talk soon. There were things that needed talking about, important things that had to be discussed. They’d talk again.“
Everything Stuck to Him
“But he stays by the window, remembering. They had laughed. They had leaned on each other and laughed until the tears had come, while everything else – the cold, and where he’d go in it – was outside, for a while anyway.“
What We Talk about When We Talk about Love
“There was a time when I thought I loved my first wife more than life itself. But now I hate her guts. I do. How do you explain that? What happened to that love? What happened to it, is what I’d like to know. I wish someone could tell me.”
“And the terrible thing, the terrible thing is, but the good thing too, the saving grace, is that if something happened to one of us – excuse me for saying this – but if something happened to one of us tomorrow, I think the other one, the other person, would grieve for a while, you know, but then the surviving party would go out and love again, have someone else soon enough. All this, all of this love we’re talking about, it would just be a memory. Maybe not even a memory.”
“Well, the husband was very depressed for the longest while. Even after he found out that his wife was going to pull through, he was still very depressed. Not about the accident, though. I mean, the accident was one thing, but it wasn’t everything. I’d get up to his mouth-hole, you know, and he’d say no, it wasn’t the accident exactly but it was because he couldn’t see her through his eye-holes. He said that was what was making him feel bad. Can you imagine? I’m telling you, the man’s heart was breaking because he couldn’t turn his goddamn head and see his goddamn wife.”
“I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone’s heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.”
One More Thing
“He said, “I just want to say one more thing.” But then he could not think what it could possibly be.”