Rocks yield before constant water
Blog Post by Brad Green - Sep.19.2008 - 11:17 am
A romantic dinner in a dim and bare room. A small, round table between them. Perhaps wine and cheese if they tend toward the aristocratic, otherwise stringy pizza in a box. Her feet bare and tucked under. Knees shine in the dim light. Her eyes blink in a converged tiredness. She's nearing the last days of her youth. It would be too much to expect a teenage optimism from her. After all, she's seen him drunk on the floor, the black hair on his thighs snarled and grotesque. He assumes that shape more often now. That chalk outline her father occupied. She's seen the glob of blood in the toilet after the test had turned positive. Three times. Bits of her life swirled away in the garbling flush. Her breasts hang a little. Her temples harden. She washes her hair every other day, wraps it behind her with a soft, orange wire. They don't have a TV yet after the move. Perhaps they'll be Bohemian and forgo it completely. When he eats, his jaw clicks. There are certain ways in which she'll turn that still make him lurch and stumble. Make his throat hollow. He looks for those more often now and, of course, can't find them. She looks the best, he thinks, off-angle, from the side, or even from behind. He's secretly taking Cialis, shearing the tablets into fourths to take every day. His skin is dry. When he walks through a room, he's conscious of everything. He rarely stubs his toe, is horrified of bumping into another person. If he's having pizza, onions will crunch in his mouth. His teeth might rip into yellow cheese. There is no longer any desire in him to look at her full-on, from straight ahead. He'll glance here and there. Watch her nipples rise with her breathing from the corner of his eye. Occasionally, something wells between them. A breeze off a wrinkled sea. Time has worn on them the way rock yields before constant water. To move an arm through the air requires immense effort. The evening light through the wide window arrives blue and fills the room. The curtains that she's chosen for their new house cast an ache over them. Time intrudes on their thoughts. Do-you-remembers infect their conversation. The slow culling of the past signals a swelling absence in the future. There'll be a moment, perhaps tonight or next week, sometime later at least, where they'll both be frantic. They'll fall upon one another and pant, like children tackling a beach ball. Her eyes will brighten as her mouth apples into a laugh. He'll lay his hands upon her so she swells into his palms. Flesh will chill where it's not congressed. Feet, knees, parts of a thigh, and backs will be cold. The blue light through the curtain will blanket them. If they had it, the cheese will harden and tan on the table. Perhaps it'll be the pizza that ghosts out its grease into the cardboard. Glasses sit patiently on the table. They rise with assurance from the folds of the cloth. A bare foot may knock the table and the wine ripples in irritation. Not much time will pass before the red body of the wine settles into its natural state, its dark boldness curving into the bottom of the glass the way a tortoise shell will arch over a soft inside.