22 May 2008

A Moment, Monday

Tonight was going to cause problems, this much he knew. Whether adorned with nervous silences and downcast eyes or the belly laughs he hoped for, trouble waited for him somewhere ahead. Right now it was hidden from view, but he could already detect a faint, mischievous giggle. He tried to tell himself that it would be fine, that after all this time things would have probably changed. Unconvinced, his inner realist leant back, raised its eyebrows and silently folded its arms.

He couldn’t concentrate. Equipment hummed around him, analysis tools with flickering lights vied impatiently for attention. He turned them off, uselessly. He picked up his bottle of water and walked to the open office window, filling his lungs with the warm sea air and watching the lawn gallop in the breeze. He loved the weather here. Something was always happening. It made a sort of sense. Slowly, calm returned.

His stomach twitched pleasantly; a result of dread and excitement in equal measure. Walking back to his desk, the sea breeze still on his neck, he accepted that after tonight it would be over, finally and forever. Even that turned out to be wrong.

11 May 2008

A Love, A Wind

Outside, it's raining almost hail. She can’t concentrate. She’s sat at her desk, legs held closely together, biting her lip and imagining that it’s him. She does this until the pain is unbearable, releases, and then savours the momentary cold, perfect ache. She’s tingling all over and outside is real hail now.

Later, there’s no wind. Her friends don’t know it, but she is now pierced in six places, all of them for him. She sent him photographs in her last letter. She closes her eyes to the cold grey evening and explores each one in turn, reaching orgasm effortlessly. She whispers his name to make it harder. A wind comes up and brushes across her face. It smells of the lilac tree outside her house or him, she can’t decide.

Afterward, she lies there catching her breath, for a while daydreaming in the billowing clouds. The wind has picked up strongly. She sits up, rubs her face back into life and flicks on the television set. He smiles at her and she smiles back. He tells her there will be more hail tomorrow. The blind clatters against the bedroom window but she doesn't look.

9 May 2008

Excerpt 01

A love, a wind

We made a long and slow love. A wind came up and the windows trembled slightly, the sugar set fragiley ajar by the wind. I like Pauline's body and she said that she liked mine, too, and we couldn't think of anything to say. The wind suddely stopped and Pauline said, "What's that?"
"It's the Wind."

A lamb at false dawn

Pauline began talking in her sleep at false dawn from under the watermelon covers. She told a little story about a lamb going for a walk. "The lamb sat down in the flowers," she said. "The lamb was all right," and that was the end of the story. Pauline often talks in her sleep. Last week she sang a little song. I forget how it went. I put my hand on her breast. She stirred in her sleep. I took my hand off her breast and she was quiet again. She felt very good in bed. There was a nice sleepy smell coming from her body. Perhaps that is where the lamb sat down.

In Watermelon Sugar, Richard Brautigan

1 May 2008

Errors 02

You always used to see eye to eye; this is what you remember. True, you were never exactly staring down each other’s optic nerves, but whilst you saw each other most days, this slight error, this offset in angle made no difference whatsoever. Nowadays, it seems like the distance between you is huge. You are both as flawed as you ever were, but here you now sit helplessly gazing into the blank space at the side of each other’s head.