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We have been out of port for two days, and have moved on to the sherry…
The grog that we have been slopping the mates has kept them at barely an arms length from mutiny. Day two in search of her has yielded nary a sight or sound of our prize. She may not have descended below the marine layer, but the whirling eddies of passing clouds prove she is an artist unbekownst of her greatest creations. Soon she will have to be seen. We know not when, but we will be there. I have heard tales of fanciful flights to far of lands without breaking cover of sight for days. I hope this does not hold true. Fruitless for more than a few days and the mates will becoming uncontrollably restless. I too know this feeling of restlessness, yet mine has gnawed at my insides for years. These simple cretins, navigating the rigging while I navigate the globe know nothing of real desire. They crave from her only what she shows, and in this they never see the true prize. I, however, know what lies beneath, under careful guard. We shall not stop, be it foul weather or foul temperament, I will have her. Today we sail on, riding the diaphanous breeze of camaraderie, drunk on the spirits of the unforeseen future. I know full well the clouds will break, the sun will bathe my sails and glance from the waves like stars. For that day, I watch, and I wait.
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She passes through every day at about this time. If the rest of us are lucky; she stays if but for an extended moment. Today fortune smiles. She glides from the counter; through the French doors and onto the veranda. Her curls bounce behind her like an obedient in supplication and winding into an open chair; she settles.
I sit two tables down; watching her. The ticking from my watch slows to vacant…endless…intervals. Captivating is a word left for lesser moments with lesser subjects. She is…entrancing. Her left leg sits perched across her right. I can see the instep of her feet, the crown on a garnet shoe. Her delicate ankles graciously give way to a sculpted calf. Extended, pronounced lines move gently as she bobs her leg in time with a silent anthem. The hem of her cocoa skirt allows the bend of her knee to flirt with the air; to flirt with me; to coax my held breath. Breathe…Please.
I curse the tailor’s adroit hands for draping such an alluring silhouette with deft precision. She knows. She smiles slyly with the corner of her eye. She certainly knows. As she cradles her book in her left hand, the right glides through to turn a page. Her head cocks to the left again. The tresses tied back, save one gently spiralling tendril at her cheek, flip in accordance with her will. Her florid lips, suggesting a base of softest pink, progress minutely into a placid smile. Lost and forgotten, find me. Find me here, at this table, inhaling every movement and devouring her last detail.
The suns late autumn beams cut through the brise-soleil to mark her lap in alternating hues of cool and warm. Her radiant face casts a light of a different spectrum on colder darker, places, she has not seen. I feel the tension in my chest ease as I feel her simper. I feel it grip me again as the sidelong squint turns into a realizing glance in my direction. Like a lesser being, terrified, I freeze. I am found out.
Her bare limbs carry the slightest sensation of chill. I pray the sun shine full again, do not drive this picture away.
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When I emerged onto the plaza it was nearing dusk. In the looming, chilled shade of evening, Mies’ masterpiece seemed to support the highest whisps of orange cloud. I perched on a corner step and watched the throngs of people move in contorted rivulets across the abused pavement. This herd reminds me of the tides, only drawn by a different celestial force.
I waited, content but seemingly anxious. We were not able to meet yesterday. She was occupied. I assume with all of the tireless business at hand, she meant work. Today I would challenge the status quo; I aim to intercept. As the ebbing light morphs into a maze of bouncing and blurring angles, I check my wristwatch again.
The silent stop-start movement mocks me, mimicking my reaction when I see her face. Without fail. With no regard to common place or repetition. When her face paints a smile of purest affection…I stop…If but only for an imperceptible moment, and move again. The pause is shorter than infinite, but tell this to my lungs and heart, whom scream for time to move again, and end their forced halt.
My eyes and ears are flooded with sepia tones, rich and warm. If I removed my glasses, I would see a world muffled in velvet, and sounding a harmonious note. I do not balk at this consciousness anymore, but rather pang for it to return. If not for the occurrence itself, than for the basic truth that she is near.
Time. Almost as promptly as I pivot, she moves through the glass façade like a wraith. Smooth, gliding, and exquisitely haunting. Stop. Start. I can feel the comfortable smirk start to push beyond my cheeks. I can not control this. One, two, three steps onto the plaza level. Wrapping my coat tighter, and straightening my stride I move towards her. Before our gazes meet across the paved expanse, she turns to receive his hand in hers. Stop. They fall into unison as they march toward the perimeter, to intercept me, whom they have not seen. Start. The smile. Her smile…and his in return. I am… I still am, but I am not. The couple makes their final approach to my vicinity. A small delicate laugh, countered with a blush and a nod. She glances up, and our eyes meet…I fear, for the last time.
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Bernard moves with relative ease through the converging horizon point of the hallway. Passing meters at a stride; with controlled breath. He recalls the plan of the whole complex; looking to find its ultimate concentricities. The second hand on his watch courses steadily through its orbit, reminding him with every glance, that time is critical and vastly overestimated. Leaning through acute and obtuse changes of coursing in turn, Bernard checks off the stop-motion flashes of alternate routes as they apparate and vanish from his periphery. Only one stop can be made—at the end. He has displaced his weight and resolve forward at a pace unknown to his experience. Continuously, for what seems to be hours, in fuligin draped nothing, the tread of his shoes continue to leave their crumbs as alien palimpsest, the dust settling around them framing their passage. Bernard knows he can not desist, for anything, anyone, anytime.
Emerging from the gradient passage edge and into the arabesque volume of the complex’s center; Bernard eases a smile across his visage, concurrent with the sharp pang of anxiety and fear that roils through his chest. The lactic acid in his body finally begins it’s silent, creeping, wailing assault on his nervous system. Just focus. Allow the vanishing line to converge on itself. Create your point of departure, he repeats to himself; using the reassurance he has crafted over days of struggle.
Ahead of him now; to the naked eye, only a blank space in time and volume, but Bernard knows he must just get to the singularity; the one-point. My God! I have it in my mind, and now just to see it, move! The last five strides take him from the recollection of the past vector to the immediate reality. 5. How did this begin? 4. I have to be here, and in 3 steps time I must be there. 3. I can leave. 2. Push, breathe, move, push. 1. Jump.
As Bernard unleashes the coiled potential energy in his legs, he forces gravity to release him from oppression. The chasm below him gapes with the unfathomable darkness of a screaming maw, inaudibly lusting for the feast of his mass. Below, the cesium-133 atom does not oscillate at the documented 9,192,631,770 per second. There is no second at all. At the event horizon, time does move; and Bernard stays above the line, continuing the trajectory through the dancing, grasping molecules.
At his path’s apex, Bernard is frozen still; in gesture and expression. Bernard feels the water in his body vibrate. The picture frame of his eyes show blue, a deep, beautiful cerulean blue. He remembers the blue from the painting on his grandfathers wall. Comfort. The pump squeezing in his ribs, beats one last time and halts. Even the eyeless organs in his body freeze in awe, drawing the blue through their own psyche, absorbing it like the struggling legionnaire imbibes water with abandon, marking the end of his trek through the seemingly infinite sea of desert. Every pore on his surface spews the color of sky with laser like unbending precision, bathing the great space in tiny pinholes looking out to the seeming meet of sea and heavens. Noiselessly, the blue morphs to cyan to white to brilliance. The edges of every object, wall, column, and person lose their boundary and prostrate to the flash. Pure white, like a virgin space at the precipice of creation. Painfully brief and long. Now black. Left unsatisfied, the pit’s yawning mouth is again mired in ink darkness. One step closer to farther, Bernard is gone.
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I can’t see them this close, Heisenberg was undoubtedly correct. I can recall every detail. I know the soft-fiber wet-fold, and the French contour it skates. I know the gentle peak at their apex and the concave fraternal twin; arching across her face like the deck shear of a sea vessel. I know the smooth, seductive, fading curve; glistened with anticipation and performed as coy desire. I know the ebb and flow of her bodies tide; as every wave paints blush on my cheeks. I can not see but I know they quiver. The slightest trembles, moving them closer and farther away from me at intervals I can perceive. This is the eve before the eve. I know the attraction and it’s taste is palpable without touching my tongue. I can consume her. The most beautiful snapshot; the passion in the instant before the kiss.Share on Facebook