Archive | October, 2014

104

18 Oct

Bertrand was gone. He left. He stayed long enough to kiss June on the cheek. If you change your mind, call. Don’t be a stranger. Can’t we still be friends? Bertrand didn’t come back. He went away hurting. Like he’d been shot. But he gave it his best shot, and what more can a man do? He might not simply have kissed her. He might have taken her to bed. He might have fallen to the floor. Clasped her knees. Begged. Instead, he went home. Got in bed. Pulled the covers up. To his chin. He didn’t sleep too well. He took some pills. On the third night, he was just too exhausted to see the bright side. Only the dark underside. He wondered, had June been right? The thing about escaping. His dad. The premise on which he based everything. He felt he could not consider the possibility that he had been wrong, since it would nullify his entire existence. At least he had his classical guitar training. But was that enough?

 

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105

13 Oct

Gary Barry slupped down from a cloud. He stood in his bikini, smiling at Rain like some terrible storm descended from the heavens. Hello, Rain, said Gary Barry. Hello, Rain stammered. He wanted to ask if he knew this terrible gray slab of slate, but a great lump stopped his words in his throat. You don’t know me, Gary Barry said. But I know all about you. I’m a friend of Hawksly. Rain felt afraid.

106

13 Oct

Martha and Calvin were standing at the window together looking out at the parking lot behind their building. Calvin had just cleaned all the windows, inside and out, and the two were now admiring the wonderful job he’d done. It’s beautiful, Martha said. I used newspaper, Calvin said. It’s beautiful, Martha said again. Thanks, said Calvin. He smiled. He put his arm around Martha and the two of them looked out across the parking lot. It was just growing dark. The sunset had been spectacular. Martha and Calvin could see the whole town. Down in the parking lot, somebody was breaking into a car.

107

13 Oct

Quantar was one of the few who could speak and simultaneously ensure that no one was listening.

108

13 Oct

Can a roofless structure become a place of shelter? she asked me. Should we have a piece of toast? I asked back. We didn’t realize the truth. We didn’t really need a particular example of art at that moment. It wouldn’t really help us at all. There was no shortcut, no standardized process for clothing what we were feeling. She wanted to measure me. What is measurement? I said. She put her lips close to mine and whispered so quietly I could no longer hear her. She had fallen away, and the closer she got the more I could no longer smell the warmth of her breathing. I am only a metaphor, she said at the end. And then I fell.

109

13 Oct

I thought this meeting was about the coffee fund, I said.

110

13 Oct

I came in the front door and, looking up along the hall, I could see the cat digging away at the living room rug. I shouted at it to stop and it stopped. I stood in the doorway for a time. The cat watched me. It was sitting on its butt, its front legs straight down in front of it, like supporting beams. The sunlight coming in through the living room windows pooled around it. There were shadows from the footstool that the cat used to stand at the window, from the cat itself, and from the plant that had been sitting temporarily in the living room for the past four years. I put my briefcase down and stood for a while, trying to think what to do.