Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Voice of Water (a story in seven parts)

We can’t help being thirsty, moving toward a voice of water
- Rumi

What could it be compared to, the feeling of being immersed in a pool of warm water? Was it the supposition that the fit of her clothes were wrong? That she wanted to throw them out the window and sprint down to the street naked screaming something dissenting? Is this how she could express the drive and impulse?

In fact it wore the habitual garb of the everyday, the dirty plates in the sink, the skein of dust on the dresser, but all had a honeyed glow, as if something monumental was about to happen. It hovered over the edge of perception and teased her awareness with its promise of more. And when she dreamed at night her mind churned out symbols. A great broken wheel in the sky.A rumbling over the earth with no point of origin.A flash of lightening without thunder.A sudden flood that buried the world.

When she woke he sometimes knocked on her door. She peered through the tiny hole and saw his face, distorted and round. She realized that this was just as much an illusion as anytime else, and if that was so, why not let him in? Why not let him speak some more?

“You look distracted today,” he said, sitting down on the coach. He wore a bolo tie and country western shirt adorned with rosettes. He was smoking. The close cropped bristles of his new haircut looked like peach fuzz on his round head. Sarah had an urge to lick him. She imagined that straw colored hair so close to the blue tint of his scalp would taste like lemons on the tip of her tongue.

“You always say I look distracted,” she answered, sitting across from him. “Is today different from yesterday?”

“I didn’t see you yesterday,” he answered evenly.

“That’s right, you didn’t,” Sarah mused. She gazed at him without focus, noting to herself that it was easy to do because his contours were so vague.

“Where were you?” he asked. “Not that you have to say. We should all walk around without a care in the world. As if we owed no one a thing. As if gifts were freely given, without charge. We are responsible only to the tips of our noses. Everything else is someone else’s business. It is their shit. I believe this is fundamentally god damned true.”

“I know you do,” Sarah answered, and he nodded.

“Wanna smoke up? I got some good shit…” He produced a dime bag from shirt pocket and placed it on the table between them, like a pagan offering.

Sarah Katz contemplated the bag and then its bearer. She imagined the burning sensation in the lungs, like taking a breath of super-cooled air, then the long, even pause before the drift into something even and flowing like a steady stream of water. Then their bodies would be together in union. What kind of union? She didn’t know. He would be inside of her, but the connection would be remote. They did it because their parts fit; because his body behind her, atop her, below her, felt congenial and warm. Beyond that she didn’t allow him to touch her. She held back, and he knew it and did not seem to care.

“Why not?” she answered, and he rolled the paper around the sprig of green and brown with all the ease of a man picking a ripe apple from a low hanging bough.

His sweat tasted sweet, like water mixed with sugar and lime. He knew what he was doing. He wrapped her in an essence he created, and moved about her, touching here and there, making a soft imprint on her flesh. She couldn’t deny the sensations were akin to passion. He was studious and precise and she appreciated this aspect of his bearing. She enjoyed how his light skin looked when pressed hard and red against her brown skin. He knew when to push. He could sense the libidinal rhythms of her body in ways which she was not aware.

She took his tongue in her mouth. He tasted like charred meadow. He was making a noise, a warning, that he was about to conclude. She touched him to speed his climax into something deeper. He appreciated it, and with a swift movement and clipped and ragged breath, he bore down on her and then rested, his close cropped hair nuzzled against her neck.

The room floated on a fragrance that was a mix of spice and smoke. The walls appeared to lean forward, as if wishing to smother them.
“You’re good,” he said as he rolled off her. She meant to ask how, but fell immediately asleep.

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