he and she #30
she faced away in a spoon, and the comforter was like clouds across the bed. looking up at the ceiling he contemplated a life he’d been whiddling away. and a girl he left behind somewhere while he was still around. he kept moving into future worlds at the speed of light so fast at times he was invisible to her, perhaps unreal. so she began to see a second he while he was still around. “but it’s nobody’s fault,” he said, stirring cream of chicken soup in a round pot in the kitchen, as she sat nearby. inside though, he knew it was his, and so did she. whatwith his brimming ideals of freedom- the necessity of breaking through symbols, and other ad-hoc philosophies conjured maybe to make sense of his lust. and after time and repetition his ideas must have caught on, because she began to live the life he had been proposing. so it was his fault after all. he knew it was his and so did she.
he and she #31
the ruthless winds overtook him on the platform. through the water in his eyes he saw the train light get bigger way to the south. he rocked back and forth in his tennis shoes hoping warmth would roll into his toes which had become seemingly large in the november cold. he leaned over the platform edge. the yellow light in the south wasn’t much bigger. he went to sit on a long wooden bench away from the tracks. a schedule was pinned to its leg by the whistling chill. he pulled his right hand from his jeans pocket and snatched up the schedule with two fingers. unfolded, the schedule was a sight to be seen. rows and rows of numbers and times which seemed to mirror diagonal patterns of themselves down and left to the bottom of the oblong page where there was a little sketch of a train. he looked up and to the right to size the light to the south. it was slightly larger- just slightly- like the difference between a dime and a penny, but still very far away.
he and she #32
she was sitting in english class, and she wasn’t paying attention. the teacher didn’t foster much encouragement- rarely grading papers, and consistently mentioning how behind he was with his workload. upon opening her folder, she noticed that her lover had slipped in a story he had written the night before. she held the thin paper between her thumb and forefinger. the feel of the paper rubbing in her hand was more prominant than the words on the page which she did skim. the words of the teacher were more relevant than the words on the page, whose letters she looked at up close. the little compartments of white inside letters like ‘o’ and ‘e’. little fancy cups like ‘u’ and ‘v’ and the even fancier ‘w’ that could hold rain if left outside. letters. paper. she looked around the classroom. sometimes when she got bored, she would listen to the teacher through the ears of her classmates- putting their small histories she imagined to work in forward fashion. she put her lover’s story back into her red folder without even noticing. she clasped her fingers and rested them on the folder on the desk, while her eyes watched the front, not paying attention.
he and she #33
his feet tapped more rhythmically. a little faster than before. the wind was in remission, but without it there was no excuse for the col, which was now working away at his ears. the light to the south was larger now, but not near the size of a quarter far away. he thought he heard a hum through the tracks. down the platform, the schedule flipflopped away and over the edge out of sight. he wondered if it was still moving. he watched his feet. then the light. then his feet again. the light was a size of a quarter… now. it was the size of a quarter but still far away. over his ears he cupped his hands, which would soon be cold instead.
he and she #34
the train was humming steadily toward him now, and the light was now the right size. he began to get very cold- standing now with his toes pressing the yellow safety line on the platform. he got extra cold now like how the need to pee gets extra bad right when you get up to the toilet. the bells at the nearby crossing clanged- startling him- about a half-second before the red lights began to alternate and two before the black and white zebra gates chunked uneasily down. the roaring mass of metal and sound crawled up with its big golden windows in thick stripes one high and one low. the train stopped with its nose far to the north. several pairs of silver doors slipped by until one pair glided up and stopped right in front of him. his tapping big toes bookended the line between the silver doors for a quick moment before they whooshed open. the stairs inside were also silver and very clean. the tops were rippled- complemented by the golden light like the sun might play on a windcarved desert. a quiet hum was the only sound. time passed. the silver doors whooshed shut and all was quiet for awhile. seconds later, he watched the doors slip away. then another pair. then another pair, faster. to the north the train disappeared with a flipflopping train schedule in its wake. in reverse order the bells, lights, and gates returned to sleep. he stood at the yellow line- steady. he leaned over the edge and looked south again.
he and she #36
“give me money. buy me a car. pay my bills… that’s all men are good for.” she blurted over her static-laden cell. “give me sex… that’s all women are good for,” he returned laying alone in his tossed autumnal bedsheets. it was the most sensible response, he thought, but then began to wonder if he actually believed it. what had he and she become?
she continued “i would never even contemplate having intercourse with you again. i hate anything with testicles.” “i was only joking,” he said to her, as he angled his back up against the bedroom wall to get a decent view of the digital clock across the otherwise darkened room. 12:46am.
he and she #37
the chilly wind blew hard as they sat back pleasantly in uncomfortable metal chairs on the coffeeshop patio. arms limp at sides. eyes closed. sunbathing. “so a side mirror is like the pinky of a car.” he suggested. she countered “no it’s more like a thumb”. he began to think about a car hitch-hiking. “can a car hitch-hike?”
she said “a car doesn’t need to hitch-hike. it can drive itself. but it can pick up a hitch-hiker… wait…. but if that hitch-hiker has their own car, then they can pick up a hitch-hiker… or… depending on who owns the car….then the other person has to hitch-hike” she capitulated playfully for awhile with a slight smile across her delicious lips.
“maybe both people can have their own cars and then they can get a nice two-car garage.” he said, scooping to catch objects flying from the table in the breeze.
two days later he sat alone inside the coffeeshop thinking about the conversation. about how a garage seemed like a small rectangular box. who wants to be in a box. a car can hitch-hike. a car can drive up on a big truck with lots of other cars on it headed for worlds unknown, letting go, giving way to the forward propulsion of the truck. he wished they could share a car together. take turns in the drivers seat. or perhaps the car would have two steering wheels.
is it more likely that his hitch-hiking car would be picked up by a truck and he would just be left to wave at her as she disappeared in the rearview mirror, perpetually taking turns being a passenger in somebody else’s car and driving around hitch-hikers in her own?
still those delicious lips, he thought, still those delicious lips.