Sinclair Lewis: Main Street

30. CHAPTER XXX (continued)

"I can't face Will down--demand the right. He'd be obstinate. And I can't even go off and earn my living again. Out of the habit of it. He's driving me---- I'm afraid of what he's driving me to. Afraid.

"That man in there, snoring in stale air, my husband? Could any ceremony make him my husband?

"No. I don't want to hurt him. I want to love him. I can't, when I'm thinking of Erik. Am I too honest--a funny topsy-turvy honesty--the faithfulness of unfaith? I wish I had a more compartmental mind, like men. I'm too monogamous-- toward Erik!--my child Erik, who needs me.

"Is an illicit affair like a gambling debt--demands stricter honor than the legitimate debt of matrimony, because it's not legally enforced?

"That's nonsense! I don't care in the least for Erik! Not for any man. I want to be let alone, in a woman world-- a world without Main Street, or politicians, or business men, or men with that sudden beastly hungry look, that glistening unfrank expression that wives know----

"If Erik were here, if he would just sit quiet and kind and talk, I could be still, I could go to sleep.

"I am so tired. If I could sleep----"

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