Sometimes, things just don’t work out. I remember a comedy routine that Margaret Chou once did where she talked about waking up in the morning next to her lover and describing the experience in loving detail, “and he’s there right next to you weighing down the bed in those clean linen sheets that you just washed…” and she goes on to describe her watching him sleep and all of the years she’s known him… the many, many, many years and he wakes up and she looks him in the eye and screams, “GET OUT OF MY BED, I HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE YOU!!!!” So, sometimes things just don’t work out.
Here is a poem that expresses a similar idea using a simile – a poem with a punchline. You think that “hook into an eye” is the same expression as “like a hand fits a glove”, but then she clarifies what she means by “hook” or rather “fish hook” and the next bit that states “open eye” is hinting that things are not fitting as well as you thought. (Perhaps that bait and switch of fastening hook for fish hook is a very literal metonymy: “the name of a thing substituted for that of another closely associated with it” Introduction to Poetry, 7th Ed. Kenned. Hook and eye are definitely puns, Atwood is famous for her word play.)
Sometimes you spend time with another person and have an absolutely wonderful afternoon, but after a while you just want to shout at him (in my case), “GET OUT OF MY LIFE!” Sometimes things just don’t work out.
You Fit Into Me
by Magaret Atwood
you fit into me
like a hook into an eye
A fish hook
an open eye
(The theme of this post might have gone differently had someone learned to pick up a phone and call, but, oh, well, sometimes things just don’t work out.)