A reaction to- The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

What I loved the most were the entries on infidelity. Shocking— I’m like a one note song, sometimes.

infidel, n

We think of them hiding in the hills—– rebels, ransackers, rogue revolutionaries. But really, aren’t they just guilty of infidelity.

Thank you, David Leviathan. To use a word so sinister. Infidel. I feel validated. I am eternally grateful.

livid, adj

Fuck you for cheating on me. Fuck you for reducing it to the word cheating. As if this were a card game, and you sneaked a look at my hand. Who came up with the term cheating anyway? A cheater, I imagine. Someone who thought liar was too harsh. Someone who thought devastator was too emotional. The same person who thought oops, he’d gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Fuck you. This isn’t about slipping yourself an extra twenty dollars of Monopoly money. These are our lives. You went and broke our lives. You are so much worse than a cheater. You killed something. And you killed it when it’s back was turned.

I’d say that defines livid. In the book, she cheated once and then told him the truth and yet his rage and language is appropriate. No one chimed in and told him to look on the bright side. He did that himself in other dictionary entries. He showed his love for her. He forgave her. But here in the anger, he is justified. No one shushed him. He didn’t shush himself.

Walt is an infidel and I am livid. At least sometimes, I’m livid. I’m allowed to be livid. Maybe we could just call him “The Infidel.”

P. S. Has anyone read this gem? It is short and sweet. Each page is an entry in a dictionary. The story isn’t in chronological order- a relationship is woven into the alphabetical dictionary entries. The outcome is unclear to me. I wanted someone to discuss it. Are they still together? Did you see the one entry when she said she was pregnant? Did she stop drinking? ( I doubt she stopped drinking but the glimmer of hope shines in the darkness. Is change possible?)

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