Thursday, September 25, 2008

Short Story: Say Yes by Tobias Wolffe

I had bookmarked Say Yes by Tobias Wolffe long time ago. I never got around reading it.

It is about a married couple washing and drying dishes. They are conversing and their conversation goes horribly wrong.

"They talked about different things and somehow got on the subject of whether white people should marry black people. He said that all things considered, he thought it was a bad idea."

She is unable to take to his views. She thinks skin colour ought not be a criteria for marriage. When she asks if he would have married her if she had been black, his answer is in the negative. She is not pleased with it. And walks out of the kithen completely ignoring him. He is hurt by her behaviour but goes on about cleaning, drying and mopping the kitchen. He takes the garbage out. When he comes back, the house is dark. He goes to bed and hears a sound..

"He sat up, but he couldn't see a thing. The room was silent. His heart pounded the way it had on their first night together, the way it still did when he woke at a noise in the darkness and waited to hear it again - the sound of someone moving through the house, a stranger."

Maybe Ann had become a stranger. I felt that Ann had no reason to get angry at/with him. The husband answered her question truthfully. I felt sympathy for him. Maybe in the darkness, Ann was proving a point that colour is only skin deep. A good end where one can think in different ways.