Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Voice of Water VII (The End)

Was that his car? She turned around, but her hair was loose, and she lost sight of what she had seen. Was it the blue convertible? Was it him at all? There was a man approaching from Newberry Street. He was wearing the mafia outfit. But it wasn’t him, just a collection of his features hung on the wrong man. She crossed the street and there was the cowboy, with the ten gallon hat and the bolo tie, but the traits were arranged in the wrong configuration, making a mockery of his appearance. The man stared at her possessively. What gives you the right to be alone, his gaze said.

Her shoe almost fell off as she walked down the steep steps of the Arlington T stop. She waited for the train and when it came sat in an empty car with an old man. She felt as if she was wearing the wrong clothes again. She pulled at her collar and squirmed in her coat. She took off the hat which was suddenly as tight as a tourniquet. The old man was mumbling something. Then he started to scream.

“You have to get away! You have to run! You need to return from where you came! Do you think that this is a dress rehearsal? You’ll come back as a flea or a rat if you don’t run. You’ll fuck your shot. It’s all pussies and cocks, pussies and cocks, until they’re gone. Just  nothing. What will you have then, little girl? All that comes is the next thing and the next thing. When does it end? Does it come in one big pulse or in  short squirts? It is water or come? Are you going to drink it all at once? You’ll stumble around in the muck of and get stuck and then you’ll come back to blame me!”

He continued the tirade, screaming a roll call of crimes. A conductor entered the car and told the man to shut up.

“Are you alright madam?” he asked. “Do you want to have him arrested? Is he harassing you?”

“No,” Sarah smiled with fatigue. “He's telling the truth.”

And out on the street all the faces reflected the black and the white. The dry and the wet. And Sarah beamed at them, as if they had a gift to give her. And even the faces of the men, lean and hungry, yearning and hot, had a something special to impart to her, and she let it wash over her body greedily, even as she feared and hated them.

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