By Ranga Iyer
Been in a relationship and felt even lonelier? Itessa, the protagonist goes through this feeling throughout her married life. In her quest for knowing herself, she poses revealing questions about life.
Down The Street by Cassandra Cronenberg is about such introspections and more.
It speaks about things that go wrong in our life and denial at such times comes in handy. It also makes us understand that we humans are as strong or weak as our nerves.
Getting deep into the innermost recesses of the mind and tackling each thought and emotion takes lot of courage and this book collects every twist, turn and thought and explores it.
Deep, insightful, this narration dares to address questions raised by mind, by people who do not fear questioning their rights, wrongs and moving forward to find that ultimate piece to the puzzle, that solution to live life the way one wants to live, not destined to live.
Most of the protagonist’s relationships represent the cycle of flame; initial phase is filled with burning and heat, followed by cooling off to turn into ashes. One of the chapters expresses this beautifully where Itessa explains how she hates the term best friends because she finds it ‘too tight’ and finds that type of security stressful.
This complex narration also nudges us to think about the binding ingredient in any bond that seems to be missing. Either by choice or by accident, the glue—that special connection which keeps relationships going is lost.
Is it because one person’s likes and expectations of the other destroys the relationship?
It also makes one wonder what happens when a partner in a relationship grows emotionally and mentally while the other stagnates? Itessa tries finding answers by visiting therapists, fighting depression with drugs and love affairs.
Children, to a certain extent manage to provide the much-needed glue in Itessa’s case. An example is the ‘tooth fairy’ coming into her older daughter’s room. Itessa feels relieved for the presence of a father for the children.
Cronenberg weaves a tale out of her wandering notions. Each thought, a complex by itself, connects and leads to another similar one. Readers can relate to the feelings and easily get pulled into the tale as if it is happening to them.
Down The Street is published by Quattro Books Inc. Toronto.