DIVIDE BY TWOFrancisco Arcellana
God knows that I hate the sight of violence,
But is it really violence I cannot stand?
Isn't it rather truth?
"They have set down a line of adobe blocks, three blocks wide and two blocks deep, across the lawnbetween their cottage and ours," Belle said."Yes, I know" I said. I walked to the window and stood there, looking over at their cottage. The pianomusic from the cottage came strong and clear. "I was here this morning when he brought those blockshome" I peeled m
y shirt; it was soggy with sweat…" He carried the blocks in the baggage
compartment of their car. It took him all three trips. He had three boys with him to help." I shook myshirt in the cooling air and walked to my room. "And I know where he got those blocks too. There is aconstruction going on right now at the engineering school. They have a pile of adobe blocks there ashigh as the Cheops. You can't miss it. You see it from the bus line every time." In my room, thestrains of piano music didn't reach sustainedly.Belle followed me into my room. "They have marked off boundaries" she said "They have definedlimits".I folded my shirt about the back of my armchair. "So they have", I said. "So they have". My undershirtwas wet too, I yanked it off."It is as if they have put up a fence," Belle said."Fences make good neighbors," I said. I whipped the apple-green towel off the T-bar and rubbedmyself briskly."It might as well be the great wall of China," Belle said."Well not really," I said. "It is not as bad as that." I returned the towel to the crossbar. I lookedaround for a dry undershirt but did not find any. I went to the bedroom where my clothes-closet was.Belle followed me. There was no light in the closet. The bulb hadn't been changed since it went badshortly after we moved into the cottage. I fumbled in the dark feeling with my fingers. In the darknessin the closet the strains of the piano came steadily, strong and clear."She is no Turk but she keeps...