Couple of Nits
The man and the woman spoke together and alone they thought without speaking. The man and the woman thought they would speak but afraid of what the other would respond with, they kept counting the seconds that passed without incident. The man and the woman thus sat in the garden, passing the time as insects flew past them without even knowing that the man and the woman were somehow connected. As though an invisible thread ran straight though and connected the heart beat. Drawing of one into the give of the other. As if there were rules to the way things were, as if there were rules at all.
The man and the woman said nothing as they sat there in that garden in that very moment of time; a fleeting thought passed as if by some means or conveyance over the space between himself and all else from the man but into thin air. Meantime the woman was considering how best to broach the subject and the man was supressing a wheeze. All in a whirl these elements would rise, in an ancient and torn crescendo and then subside as if connected via threads of reason or even something tangible.
All in a whirl, yes as if, but...?
The man would never amount to anything while the woman told him he was just a lesser version of his father. That was odd, he would always think at that stage of the turning of events, she had never even met his father, but she seems to have written the book about how the old man thought. He was quietly upstairs, hovering above their silence and criticising his son's choices, always criticising what the man wanted to do, he went on an on like thunder that would not give up - each minute that was passed in this tirade only hardened his heart in ways that his father would regret, but it was inevitable that blood should teach blood in this way. That was what held him in place. Another damned internal rumble churned but he successfully quietened it down so to avoid her critisicm.
She thought him too content, too blythe spirited for the level of tension he required to be settled. She cooked and coughed for him, but he remained passive. She tried to paint rooms bright colours, weave new furniture and even became adept at carpentry. Somewhere something had to lift him out of the mechanical nature of his inner calculation. Somebody had to start him on a course of dreaming, wallop that hidden accountant from the dust laid rug that she presumed was his soul. In fact it was his jacket and a vaguely musty smell that resulted from his hanging it in the greenhouse and gardening like a fool. Its smell resulted from the compost heap just outside the greenhouse. If he had put his hands deep into the musty soil, he would have felt the warmth of life, but he kept his hands busy instead with the wrapping of a coil for a motor he was making because someone once told him he was good for that sort of thing. She had a visitor and was bathing her friend in steam for cups of eternal tea and daintily laid out silver, water served in goblets and napkin rings. Everything was orderly. Everything was expensive. Everything was removed by the men in black jackets, before the boy turned eight. His father's family and legacy sailed into the distance of unfamiliarity, the life raft that sinks or simply remains floating for years.
Into the welcoming arms of a future that was both uncertain, and predictable, they pruned their roses and cast spells that altered the nature of political reason in a unspectacular and remote suburb near some unknown unamed town. Only the name of the country that was scribbled on the map by am officer of the local council was left. It was Desolation, Isotopia. Somewhere east of Kansas perhaps a slice of time that existed somewhere that nobody could prove was fictional or fact. In a law court the man and the woman would stand up and say that I said this or that, but they can not prove that I was indeed the I that I write about, or - there I go again, inventing new places to stand and look at all, and say its mine. I look at the daisy - the most meaningful flower but it depends therefore on me for its meaning, me and my looking at it. If I pull off its petals, one by one, the daisy gives me its feelings of love as a form of final sacrifice.
They walked into and out of the house with a dignity that spoke of the years. The years under the normal weather that was discussed nearly daily. There was that time of hysterical discussions about travelling to The Big City and seeing a theatrical production, just so that they could finally say they had done it. It was so disturbing to the fluttering utopia that all manner of conversations were necessary to settle things. Conversations about her mother and his mother was a useful device she found to distance it from her emotional vulnerability and launch headlong into his. Mothers were her primary tool of emotional incline. Let him hover between the despair of maternal abandonment, let him think he is ahead but have the red button ready. Never be afraid to lash out first. Never lash out last, let him carry that guilt.
For him it was an entirely different tactic, different goal and dillema. It was a maelstrom he could neither steer clear or, nor survive in it. It was as inevitable as landing after falling or that all winners die. Little to be done about it, there only ever seemed one way to settle matters and that was to give up before it was too late.
That was the one day in 36 years that the weather was not mentioned and since that day, the weather was mentioned instead of that day, unaware yet that both secretly thought of that day as a direct result of the absense of the inclusion of the mundane, the replacement of things they now remember as exceptional and a disturbance under the surface of things, a disturbance that neither could own up to or describe, but each knew underneath it all that no mountain of pain can hide under a thin veneer of clever deception, so they would individually, and, fooling themselves more than each other, pretend to themselves that such thoughts simply did not exist but they were actually thinking about thinking them, rather than actually thinking them.
Hiding behind umbrellas that kept the storm water from evaporating into the air. Isolated little brittle thoughts that acted like thorns in the skin. His hand reached through the cosmic murk and stroked her face and so she brushed aside all the cobwebs and kissed him. "The weather looks good."
Secret panels slid back into place and their licence was once again perfect. Trees let the wind drag them gradually along through the clotted mud. Life could proceed.
June 6th 2005