Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Another Excerpt.

(From "Festival Days")

“I—I don’t know what you’re talking about. Look, I’ll sleep on the couch tonight if it’s all the same to you.” She said, ignoring me.
“Oh no. You’re not getting away so easily this time. Believe me, if you keep this sort of thing up, I’ll never let you go back there again. You should take more care of yourself.” Jurgen said trying to be as blunt as possible.
“No one cares what happens to me, Jurgen. You must know that—especially them. All they want is my money anyway.” J--- was not making any sense now. It became apparent to Jurgen she hadn’t heard a word he said. He stared at her for a minute trying to calm her down. She knelt beside him. She looked away toward a far corner of the room as her face contorted in agony. She began to cry. Jurgen lay there slightly upright, slightly lengthwise, watching her. He knew it was better not to touch her in this situation. She had to decide what she wanted to do. The flow of her tears increased and her sobs grew louder. Jurgen’s eyes tried to hold back any kind of response—he didn’t want her to know how he really felt. Finally, she stopped crying. She wiped her wet face with the sleeve of her shirt, sniffled a bit, and looked at him. Her tear ducts were empty. He already reached his emotional limit and momentarily felt nothing. She felt she could sense a great deal behind the stillness of his eyes. This time, this particular moment, when she finally opened her eyes to look at him, seemed to last forever in her mind. The glow of his retinas, the dilation of his pupils was burned into her skull. She looked down at the floor and parted her lips slightly. He thought she might say something but knew better. He extended his hand and guided her to the bed.

Jurgen didn’t dream that night. J----’s ordeal was too draining for him. J----, however, in the midst of lying silently under the covers, traveled amidst the stars. She was in the upper rooms of a grand old house looking at herself naked in a full length mirror. Some kind of large occasion was happening in the lower levels of the estate. It was still early. The soft carpet caressed the soles of her feet as she hunted for an appropriate pair of underwear to complement the evening’s festivities. Her bedroom was gigantic. She thought it must be the largest bedroom she’d ever been in. She sprayed her body with perfume and let the smell linger under her nose awhile. The sun peeked in through the lace curtains to her left. It too created a sensation on her body. The freshness of the waning light brought hope to her eyes. The heat of the light turned from warm to mildly cool. She wore the silk of her underwear like a second skin. Its texture made her into the most precious of flowers. She winked at herself in approval and proceeded to get properly dressed. Her mind raced ahead as she heard cars arriving along the gravel driveway that led up to the grounds of the estate. She heard the parking of cars and the sound of gravel crushed under the heels of expensive shoes. She felt confident, alert and aware. She extended her arms and began to dance around her room—singing to herself. The song echoed and felt tinny. It should have helped her—the song should have saved her. But something was missing. She turned, now fully dressed, and focused on the door to her room. She remembered the color and texture of the wood, the detailing around the handle and the particular sound her door made—whether it was closed gently or slammed shut. The smell and movement of such a door brought a full, almost sensual smile to her lips. Her hand and skin became confused. She felt along the old wallpaper but could not find the door—it simply was not there. She felt at once very safe and alone. Her head was consumed with thoughts of absolute joy and sadness—she wanted something to hold. J----’s body jerked slightly as she banged her head against the edge of Jurgen’s bed.
She awoke, rubbing her head. The dream vanished. Jurgen had not moved. She laid her head back on the pillow and fell fast asleep.

This is something deliberate and unforgivable. It comes over us like a vulture, waiting for our bodies final spasms.

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