Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sotto Voice VI

6.         It was the creaking in the night which gave it away, and the sotto voce of the man who claimed to be J.’s father; then, the sound of grinding, like a minuet was being gracelessly danced on a floor of glistening wax.  But it wasn’t anything at all like this, no, something was moving more darkly across the screen of his mind, like the galloping of dark, slender horses.  All J. could do was fix his two index fingers into his ears, which did not help at all;  and when they emerged, there were two plugs of sticky gray wax coating his cuticles like resin from a leaking tree.  J realized nothing would work.  Perhaps he should just jump over a bridge on the Tiber and die.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sotto Voce V

5.         J. assiduously avoided the utility closet.  He knew the world was inhabited by gnomes, detached, broken souls, fairies, malevolent and indistinct forms, and imagined that the hole, with is aperture as tight as a rosebud, was the seal which trapped these ill-humors in some terminal limbo.   
            Or maybe yet, he thought, it was a gateway to some plague strewn chamber.  The apartment block sat on the site of an old nunnery, when this part of the city was open country, and perhaps those black shrouded forms discarded their venally begotten offspring down this auspiciously placed shaft.  In there, a cascade of broken and porous bones; of fissured skulls; of pinky bones as small as a snail’s shell, and femurs as long as a broken piece of hay.
            So J. played as far away from the door as possible, near the washer and dryer and the hillock of unfolded laundry.  But the door rattled in its casement.  Something inside whispered words of false endearment to him, comforting words designed to dissemble his resistance

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sotto Voce IV

4.         There was a narrow opening between a row of cypress trees which had been trimmed down to form bushes.  Lucia and J. slipped though into a narrow area, surrounded by pine boughs in the shape of an oval; up above was a cobalt sky.  There was up ended crate, and Lucia sat  and pulled down her Capri pants and then her panties.  J. ran his fingers through the light floss of her mound, and then worked further down, around her folds and creases.  Her breathed was deep, but she did not utter a word.
            After a while the wetness between Lucia’s legs cooled and she pulled up her panties and then her Capri pants.  When they emerged from the stand of cypresses a crescent moon had arisen over the horizon, just beyond the old Appian Way.  It looked like a sickle with a broken handle.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sotto Voce III

3.         Lucia was in her garage, arranging green balls in a refrigerator box sliced in half.  As far as J. could see, she was piling them from smallest to largest.  From the veil of perspiration clinging to her forehead, he could tell that the task taxed all the compact set of skills she housed in her small body.  When J. approached she stopped.
            “Crappy,” she said, turning to him and then to the balls.  “A crappy job.”  She spoke with a pronounced Roman accent.
            “Why not stop?” J. asked, still in the door frame, but now leaning on her father's Audi.
            “Why?” she asked, facing him, her expression vexed but curious.  “What else is there to do? What do you want to do?”

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sotto Voce II

2.         J. stepped out of the basement and into the scalding Roman son to Lucia’s house.  In the overhanging linden trees, drooping over the disjointed and crumbling sidewalk like a concealing mask of greenery, hide a disfigured face which was the sky; cicadas called out in rising shrills.  A group here,  cluster there, interspersed among the verdant canopy, like guerrillas hidden in some jungle, they seemed to sing: SO SO SO SO, without variation.  Their only melody it was true, but everyday it seemed to J. to covey some new statement of metaphysical truth uttered in a single, long syllable.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sotto Voce - a short story


1.         The tunnel was gaping, labial, and J. came across it quite by accident.  He was playing with a little toy car, and it slid beneath the crack of a utility closet door.  When he opened it, it groaned as if aggrieved; it heaved as if old age had worn away its ligaments and tendons and raw bone scuttled across raw bone.
            The utility closet was bare but for a menacing, overhanging pipe, thick as a lingam, jutting down with pale flecked minerals, like an accumulated layer of semen.  Water dripped from the end of the pipe reluctantly, the drop of water hanging for a moment at the lowest end of the lingam, as if sensing its doom.  It elongated, like a drawn out tear stretching to an ever diminishing tail, and then fell to the floor below.
            And it was then that J. saw the hole  composed of two symmetrical slits, the opening which was the gateway to its core,  jealously guarded by the tensile strength of two lips.  He could see nothing but a line of frothy mucous, the color of churned milk on the upper part of the maw, like a high water mark on a distempered wall, and the vinous, red wall of the inner labia, sealed tight, guarding the secret within.
            Then the ruddy drip of water from the pipe above fell, landing in the secret core,  in the very center of the hidden cleft of the hole.  The lips quivered slightly as if to say a word, and then fell silent.  J. quickly closed the door.