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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Her Sacred Expanse

In a dim college apartment she’s still aloof. Christmas lights give enough glow. She prefers natural light but this is the best she can do. It’s perfect. Her little white socks leave a bit of her ankles exposed. My eyes crawl upward. The belt that hugs her hips sits just right and her shirt grazes the top of it. Her long brown hair hits the middle of her ribcage. Most of it is pushed to one side, her right, and snakes around her curves.

Before my eyes can continue their pursuit she moves to change the music. She apologizes for how it was. It was on shuffle, or a random mix. Whatever it was it had only heightened the haze of my hungry gaze. Now that gaze was broken, for which I was bitterly grateful. I had forgotten time didn’t pause.

When she smoked she leaned back into the cushions behind her. The smoke streamed straight, directed with effortless attention like a beam. I inhaled, my ribcage expanded. I looked down at the burning orange then lifted my chin. The smoke billowed out of me as if emerging from my aura. As I looked at her, she talked with a slight smile. The smoke framed her face. She blinked to look down; she blinked to look up at me.

My phone chimed. I stepped over the cushions on the floor. I picked up the phone, it’s light was an intruder. I set it down, looking back to where I was before. The silhouette of the flowers I had given her that afternoon caught my eye. Tiny roses, pink and orange, bundled freely in a clear vodka bottle. She had blushed when I had given them to her. Now they sucked in the last bit of light coming through the window.

Lying stomach down on the futon at the foot of the couch, I can see the back of her body. I obey my urge to take a quick look, then return. Her hair is still to one side. I continue my previous journey of the eyes. Up. Her face…her skin…her subtle freckles. They are faint and adorn her body, but the dimness of the room and the closeness of our bodies somehow make them possible to see. Your skin is milk and your freckles are sprinkles of cinnamon, or yoghurt…or honey. I think this but instead I simply say: I like your freckles. She blushes and looks down.

Her phone lights up. It’s her brother. We then talk about family. Her mother. She paints me a picture of her—her words, her habits. We laugh at first; then we stop. She talks about her mother slower now. I reach my hand to move a piece of her hair. Gently coiling it and pushing it back, I expose a piercing at the top of her ear. She is more still. My skin is throbbing. To make her laugh I say: We can’t even imagine the ways we will one day fuck up our children like our parents fucked us up.

I flirt with an urge to expose my fears, my stories, my past. It’s not until she moves a piece of hair out of my face and my chin lifts up that I notice I had been looking down. One blink and she sees me. We just do the best we can, she says, beaming her eyes into mine and answering every question.

Time stops in this capsule. She holds eternity in the blink of her eye.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is such a cute story :)

February 19, 2012 at 9:47 PM  

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