for April, 2009

April 30, 2009

fragment from “the wandering point”

Cal watched Rachel’s graceful back as she stood in the exact center of the massive grid of factory windows along the wall of her studio. Her hands were propped on either side of her where the sill intersected the frame, a pair of oblique angles. He saw a moment of symmetry, of exquisite geometry, the body and the built world in harmony. And then, she leaned slightly into her hip and the symmetry broke.

April 27, 2009

fragment from “the invisible museum”

Billy walked out into the crowded night. He was aimless and hungering, a man who had made himself rich and found that his money did not satisfy him. His limbs were bony in a way that the suits he wore could never entirely conceal. He had started with a fine, if ordinary face. It was the stunning crook of his nose, smashed long ago in a high-school fight, that made him memorable. When the bruises had healed, he found the break had left him handsome, possessed of a face with new complexity. People saw what they wanted to see in his starry black eyes: merriment, wrath, mischief. He knew the eyes were nothing but a mirror of other people’s wishes. Knowing this gave him power, it showed him what they desired.

April 24, 2009

fragment from ‘the invisible museum’

Even if he could have done what she wanted him to, in her darkest reflections she thought she might have gone back to fucking strangers anyway. Her infidelity had never been what he thought it was. What most people can’t resist, what makes their steadfastness buckle, is the tenuous flowering of seduction. It’s the rushes felt in the blood as a small, new intimacy forms. The hours passed in another’s bed are not the worst threat to the betrayed. What rips at their hearts is the slight shift of attention, felt like a change in the wind. The burr of a secret, a chamber of their lover’s heart suddenly inaccessible. She couldn’t have explained it to him, she understood it so poorly herself, that the strangers were something different for her. Not a matter of intimacy at all, but a denial of it. She used them and discarded them, sustaining her conviction that she was utterly self-contained.

What she had wanted was to remain in the perfect, quiet place of unmade choices. But indecision is a precipitous emotion. It dismantles us, like vertigo, gives us a longing to fall and the inability to do so. True indecision reproduces itself like a hall of mirrors. The anguish it brings is intolerable, far worse than the remorse of a wrong choice. She suffered a more common variant, the false indecision that covertly masks an unwanted, unrecognized resolution. A choice that has in fact already been made.