Summer Evening, 1947

Being a couple is twice the fun.
Being a couple is twice the cost.
Being a couple doubles your earning power
and your frustrated dreams.
Being a couple means a unity
stops you from being the indivisible
and unique thing you once were
for better or worse.
Being a couple is ruining your eyesight
together and shaking your booties in synch
and jogging side by side. Being a couple
brings the "added problem" of not being three or four.


Being a couple makes you talk it over. Being a couple,
I've sensed, languishes without conversation,
slipping eventually from the dynamic
to the stable EKG,
conversation that's very simple, so to speak,
conversation evocative of zen,
conversation with the social impact
of visceral gossip,
conversation rediscovered on the porch,
conversation that winds up interfering
with passionate moves.


Being a couple produces side effects:
it's the emotional contagion between people
who love one another, reconciling
their behavior, impulses,
mental states, what they didn't know
up to that point with the awareness
they've put an end to restraint.


Translation of "Summer Evening, 1947." First published in Edward Hopper, 2006. Copyright by Ernest Farrés. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2007 by Lawrence Venuti. All rights reserved.



Read Ernest Farrés's "Summer in the City, 1949".