Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Elementary (1965)

Potpourri in Chinese bowls on your left as you come in from the elevator hall. They are waiting between the tables. This causes distraction.
I spoke to him—
On the way to the theatre—
She isn't calling my name. We went out on the balcony. She poured him another Scotch. You had to come in a taxi. We were passing the Women's House of Detention. I was on my way home, like always.
Not uptown.
Like light among aspens.
Yes I do. I speak out, forwardly, so they will know I'm there—I mean here. Sheep are our friends. So are cows. Chickens are edible machines, and fish are swimming vegetables. Whew! I'm through with that.
I had Greek olives some years later and swollen glands. I staggered, and someone leapt forward to catch my arm. I recoiled violently, knocking against the piece of furniture the bowls of potpourri sat on, banging my forearm on the edge of it painfully, smiling, watching them come for me.
Oh, it was nothing.
Someone had loved someone once. We had all of us felt something intense and alarming, a huge extended throbbing pang, and fallen for its adhesiveness. Stuck.
We ran because it was raining. The car was locked and I had the wrong keys. We all ran back inside the house. Taking her coat off, Joan asked if anyone wanted tea. I said yes and took my coat off. Fred came in with the other keys. Charlie came in with an armload of wood and started building a fire. Jeremy and I had a conversation about plastic pipe. Someone rolled a joint. Fred and Gwen went out and got in the other car and drove away. Jeremy tried to take me down to the cellar but I wouldn't go. Joan brought me a cup of sassafras tea and sat beside me in front of the fire, resting her hand between my legs. There was no sound but the crackling of the burning logs. The full moon sparkled on the wet snow. I felt myself falling asleep and let myself go.
The sounds of someone taking a bath.
Then nothing.
Have you been out at all today? No, I'm sick in bed with a cold. I don't stay in bed but I don't go out of the house. Why not enjoy a disease? This is elementary.

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