I couldn’t even say why, not now, not even all this time later. There are small parts of memory, segments if you will, which attempt in some small part to explain the events of July tenth. Oh, but i shall not harp on the point, it happened. There are no powers north or south to reverse these days. I can’t but feel the small time hour gods laughing.
I am intent on telling you, trying to give you a reason for my action. Can I tell you it was all for shits and giggles? I know, small excuse, little reason. What else can I say; I am a single entity, wronged in spirit, ready to avenge my birth.
I know I’ve lost you. Let me start again, from the beginning. Please, allow for my digressions, I can’t see all of this in one piece.
She stood at the bus terminal downtown, wearing next to nothing. I know her name, Celia or something of that nature. Her skirt showed it all, legs, bright and bare opened before me, shifting from one foot to the other. When indeed would the bus arrive?
The heat burned, fire; the road hot through my shoes, all the while I watched her, eyes dark and rimmed with mascara. She gazed at me, casual, an empty look, full of nothing, still shifting her feet aimlessly in the sand.
I approached her, not so much sure of what to say as aware of a need to be near her. A few steps further found me next to her, close enough to see the small pear shaped bruise on her ankle, close enough to smell her scent, at once strong and quiet sweet, a solid wave of apricot and spring soap. Details pressed into my consciousness: the peeling bench, green in places, the faded word ‘downtown’ missing the last ‘n’, and the constant cracks in the cement, worn smooth by shoes and boots and sandals, like the pair she wore, showing painted toes, smooth white skin painted red.
Looking at her, up from the red of her toenails, to those legs, still and forever smooth shiny and sun tanned golden, which led neat and placid into a white tennis skirt. She demanded attention, without a word, which I gave to her, to the constant stillness of her navel, tight and tanned, which seemed to spin the hazy hot air around me, dulling and spinning star shapes into my vision.
“Hello.” I said, slowly, drugged on blonde curls and tanned skin, upon which the sun danced and danced as she moved, from one foot to the other, a dance of sparkle and glitter delight. She turned, her hazel empty eyes uncomprehending, looking upon me coldly, with no interest, not even of contempt.
“Hi.” She shrugged, her blonde ringlets shaking out her greeting as she spoke.
Paralysis spread quickly over me, taking my tongue hostage, my very thoughts. I saw but blonde and gold and light refracted. All else faded: the peeled paint, the sign announcing the downtown bus, the potted palm plant next to the bench, gone, all save gold locks and tight navel.
No words or motion, just paralysis and waiting; for the bus, for her to speak, for her to move her painted foot, dragged haphazard over sand and gravel and cracked cement. Utter silence ripped through the air, passing over me in shrill waves, the sound of bus approaching failing to register until mine eyes spied the blue and white shell of metal, floating formless towards me.
Bus eased to a halt with squeal, her feet moving towards the curb. My sense of balance failing as I follow her with my eyes, I almost fell in an attempt to move. I reached for change, an automatic reflex from years of riding bus, and mounted the steps after her, my eyes against her legs, touching, caressing, and tasting the golden flesh.
Boarding, change places, one dollar thirty five, continue on following tanned haze; light shadow light shadow, a seat across from her- a perfect view. She played motion with my mind, adjusting her hair, changing her lip color, brushing thin fingers over her legs, the motion causing me disorientation. What is the day? What time zone am I in? The time, the year, confused.
“Are you okay?” She asked. The very gods ask me ‘Are you?’
Sweating and stiff with fear, I nod accent, with flutter in my stomach, the knots of mannequin desire pull strong.
“I am okay.” I manage with a smile and wipe sweat from my upper lip, trying to show control. Do I control my basic functions, my breathing?
“You look pale.” She says. Her red tongue moved slowly over pink lips, torture of heaven.
“I feel feverish.” I say, sun plays tricks, light destroys thoughts. I remember being young and riding my bike in the summer heat, with sweat in my eyes.
“I have aspirin.” She says. She looks concerned, a line upon her brow, heaven frowns!
“I’ll be okay.” I say. I doubt it, knowing my mind is feverish, hot and agape, trying to keep pace with my desire.
“How far are you going?” She asked concern still visible, one furrowed line upon her forehead.
“I do not know.” I answer, slow, careful with each word. Am I correct? Am I making sense?
She looks upon me still, her eyes narrowed and filled with concern.
“You are making me wonder. You seem ill.”
I doubt my sense of hearing. She did not say those words. I am imagining, making believe. She is not talking to me. Am I indeed on bus? How would I know the difference between reality and dream? I feel bus under me; lumps, bumps, crevice of road beneath, the blink blur of words on street signs and billboards, advertising places I’ve yet to visit, products of which I know nothing.
To the dentist, to fix bad teeth, perhaps? To the bank, to see about checks bounced and negative balances. Or simply, following a nameless she, a constant sure beauty in a white tennis skirt? I can’t say, I shall not guess. If pressed I say ‘to the coffee shop’.
“What is your name?” She asks. She smiles and for a moment I forget my nerves, my fever, name and smile back at her as though I didn’t hear her speak, as if she hadn’t asked me a question. Her face is close, close enough to see the lines in her makeup, the texture of the powder on her cheeks, close enough to...
“Jacque Cousteau.” I answer. I give her a smile, secret memories in my eyes.
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Cousteau.” She says, laughing, her teeth showing white and shiny behind pink lips. “I’m Kate.”
Her laugh contains a rainbow and I hear hidden mirth, devilment, the great man trap, as her eyes search mine, inviting me, leading the way down, down, down. The world slows and her lips move slowly, silvery in half time. The words flow unheard over me, but I feel rather than hear. She takes me down.
I see her walking in front of me on a sidewalk, which leads to a set of stairs; darkness surrounds, the way downward hidden in the blackness. I see the light gold of her skin shining against the opaque steps, from which I feel heat, throbs and waves of heat. I follow one step, two steps, the heat growing, becoming oppressive. Three steps, four steps, I see an archway hover over black void, an empty space, which she leads me towards, the heat searing my skin, my eyes, my thoughts.
“Come to me.” She says, standing on the edge of the void, sheer black behind her, hand outstretched, welcoming, inviting, and her cream colored fingers cool to my burning touch.
I focus my eyes, with effort, and the blink blur of bus motion is once again visible through blonde curls. I move closer, apricots filling my senses, my arms moving of their own volition. My hands grip the soft velvet of her cheeks. I pull her close, close. My lips touch hers, without struggle, warm wet and full against mine. I kiss and kiss and kiss her, pulling her closer, closer, feeling her tongue inside my mouth, hot breath exhaled. I feel her lip and I bite, hard and vicious, savage blood trickles down her chin as she pushes me away with both hands.
I laugh, tripping my way forward. The bus screeches halt and I exit, tripping and laughing, the warm taste of blood fresh on my lips.
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