I would like to know what "suddenly close again in the dark" means in the following sentences:

We walked out of the barn and into the house. There was a dark corridor that smelled of must and soot and earth. Nothing seemed to be moving. A few beams of light revealed a world of dust specks floating in the air, and on the wall Jesus hung on a cross, muscles and ribs defined, naked but for his loincloth. We looked at each other for a moment, quizzically, suddenly close again in the dark. Down the creaking corridor we found the kitchen on the right, where the young girl stood by the stove over a pot of steaming milk. She’d taken off her headscarf and her long darkblonde hair fell all the way down her back.

‘Come and have a seat,’ said an old woman by the table in the corner. ‘You must be hungry.’

In this novel which is set in the 1980's in Poland under the socialist regime, where homosexuality was socially unacceptable, the protagonist Ludwik (a university graduate) left Poland in 1981 to live in the United States of America. And he remembers what it was like back then in Poland, where he went to the agricultural camp (which was mandatory for college graduation). At the camp, he met Janusz, who would soon become his lover. After the camp, Ludwik decided to go to a lake district with Janusz. On the way to the lake district, it rained through the night and they decided to stay the night at a barn of some family living at a farmhouse. When they lay close to each other in the dark, Ludwik and Janusz felt pull towards each other. But Ludwik didn't have the courage to come close to Janusz, and so the night passed without anything particular happening. Next morning, the two, invited by the daughter of the farmhouse family, went to the farmhouse. But, on the way to the kitchen, they felt "suddenly close again in the dark" in the corridor.

I believe this question might be or might not be connected to my other question (What does "I was paralysed by possibility, caught between the vertigo of fulfilment and the abyss of uncertainty." mean here?). I am wondering whether it would be right to understand that they felt close again in the dark, just like they had the night before, when they looked at each other in the corridor. But I couldn't be sure, so I wanted to ask you.

I am an English learner from South Korea, so thank you for your patience in advance as I may not know obvious things. I would very much appreciate your help. :)

1 Answer 1


"suddenly close again" means that they felt the same closeness again that they had felt during the night in the barn.

"in the dark" is literal, since they are standing in a "dark corridor" (see first sentence in the quoted passage).

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