Mr. Peanut

By Adam Ross; Published In 2010
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Novels, Abandoned
A man who loves his mother too much is someone who can never love his wife enough.

Everyone should be lucky enough to be loved for a long time. To know what that was like--to be loved and to change, to be privileged to suffer it, to remain. To know, as she did, that there was only one person she could ever love. To know it incontrovertibly. To accept it, with all the attendant limits. Once you did, it was the closest thing there was to safety.

He closed his eyes, shook his head. If he could get her alone somewhere, somewhere completely private, he'd kill her. He would break a rock over her head and split her skull open so that he could see, just for a second, what the fuck was in her mind.

He was extremely short, five feet in heels, wearing a khaki sport coat and blue jeans. His brown hair, with long straight bangs, hung very long in the backĀ—a mullet, really. His black eyes were gerbil-like, as beady and opaque as marbles, and although he was diminutive he was stocky, built like a wrestler or a dwarf strongman. He was so low to the ground he'd be hard to knock off his base.

I'm here for several reason, Mr. Pepin, first of all for aid. When something tragic happens in our skies, we do our utmost to extend sympathy. But sympathy without action,that's an empty emotion. Mainly I'm here for the purposes of reentry."
"I don't understand."
"Adjustment," Harold said, "to earth. I'm here to make sure you didn't leave your whole life in the sky.

...in response to whatever Alice was struggling with, whatever had caused her to withdraw from him, he had chosen the arms of another woman instead of relying on his own fortitude, as if he'd somehow deserved more comfort than Alice herself had been able to give, or not. Which was part of marriage, after all, part of the vows: enduring those times. And this sense of entitlement seemed to him an even greater sin than infidelity.

It is possible, he thought, to be completely happy in marriage--though you must be willing to hold on when your ship was lost at sea and there was no guarantee of rescue.

It's amazing what we believe if we hear it at the right time," Harold said.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you ask someone to marry you and the person pukes, that's a sign.

Men dream of starting over. Not even necessarily with another woman. They dream of a clean slate, of disappearing, of walking off a plane on a layover and making a new life for themselves in a strange city--Grand Rapids say, or Nashville. They dream of an apartment all of their own, of silence, of joining Delta Force and fighting in Iraq, of introducing themselves by the nickname they'd always wished they had. Of a time and place where they can use everything they know now that they hadn't known then--that is, before they were married. And then they might be happy.

Of all the thoughts we think, it's only those that actually manifest themselves that seem significant. But the thoughts just before the event are like the fortune in the cookie. The fortune's as random as the thought." - Nathan Harold

People think of travel, of movement, as a kind of reprieve from life. But they're wrong. Movement isn't a reprieve. There is no reprieve. Movement is our permanent state.

Perhaps it's simply the dual nature of marriage, the proximity of violence and love.

The heart," he said, "is half criminal. The trick is to be vigilant. To keep your eyes open, so if you get a look at this side of yourself you can make a positive ID.

The thoughts just before the event are like the fortune in the cookie. The fortune's as random as the thought.

Worse, he seemed as impassive as some of the killers he'd interrogated. That more than anything was what struck him. Men who killed serially suffered a unique lack of affect. You felt this in advance, a physical pressure before they entered a room. There was something impenetrable and thick behind their eyes, a gaze that was shark-dumb. They were people, Hastroll thought, who could not be touched by love.

You know, as I've grown older, my ideas about sin have changed. I used to believe that sins were things you did, but I don't think that now. I think sins are what you ignore.