2 thoughts on “Complicity – Christopher Ropes

  1. Pages 7 – 18

    “Even the people we know the best are mysteries to us, I thought.”

    An all-consuming, stylishly described first half to this story of five people of various ages (three house guests of the other two), trying to reconcile themselves, after some time, to an earlier suicide by a sixth one from among their chance grouping of participants of the past, and we sense the possible interconnections of supposed blame for that suicide, expressed now, it seems, with even more ‘venom’, as evidenced by some striking memorabilia, and the repercussions upon the relationships between the others since that event…
    …all abruptly subsumed by an evocatively conjured, but half-expected, snowstorm, as the three drive off, relieved to have an excuse to leave early, but perhaps not early enough…
    The people we know the best? or the people we know the most? Not necessarily the same thing — as the carload stops in the exponentially increasing snow to investigate a possible roadkill shape, but man or animal?
    I look forward, with some suspense, to reading the second half, hopefully later today, and I promise no spoilers…

  2. Pages 18 – 29

    “For one single moment, my heart broke for that woman, the woman I loved so much and didn’t want to feel she had anything to be sorry for…”

    Is “didn’t want to feel she had anything to be sorry for” correct, as is printed in this morphing text, or should it be “didn’t want that SHE felt she had anything to be sorry for”? A complicity of selflessness or selfishness seems important to this suddenly reality-convulsive reading experience that becomes a duty-by-dread that we readers of it are in conspiracy not to make clear exactly what happens in this its second half. It surely transcends both dreaming and waking as a composite ‘objective correlative’, a disarming strangeness before someone takes to arms to keep us quiet…?
    Motivations are felt here to be disowned, and methods of transport uncertain, as are places where snow can sensibly settle. We were all destined to be successful in what we wanted to do in life (be it divorce lawyer, as it is here, or horror writer or whatever) given the backstory in which we and all our readers can connive and collude and complicate by complicit guilt, whatever the agonising collateral-damage to those we love.
    That is one interpretative reading possible of the hauntingly delayed aftermath deployed by this work. It is not, of course, the correct interpretative reading of it because we are all disallowed, by its implicit subliminality, to publicly impart it, given the privilege of our having read it at all.

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