Read an Excerpt: Adultery by Paulo Coelho
272 pages; Knopf
Available at Amazon| Barnes & Noble | Indiebound
"I WAKE up and perform the usual rituals—brushing my teeth, getting dressed for work, going into the children's bedroom to wake them up, making breakfast for everyone, smiling, and saying how good life is. In every minute and gesture I feel a weight I can't identify, like an animal who can't quite understand how it got caught in the trap. My food has no taste. My smile, on the other hand, grows even wider so that no one will suspect, and I swallow my desire to cry. The light outside seems gray. Yesterday's conversation did no good at all; I'm starting to think that I'm headed out of the indignant phase and straight into apathy.
And does no one notice?
Of course not. After all, I'm the last person in the world to admit that I need help.
This is my problem; the volcano has exploded and there's no way to put the lava back inside, plant some trees, mow the grass, and let the sheep out to graze.
I don't deserve this. I've always tried to meet everyone's expectations. But now it's happened and I can't do anything about it except take medication. Perhaps today I'll come up with an excuse to write an article about psychiatry and social security (the newspaper loves that kind of thing) and find a good psychiatrist to ask for help. I know that's not ethical, but then not everything is.