Volume 91, Issue 84
Tuesday, March 10, 1998
No sweeping exits,
Or off-stage lines,
Could make me feel bitter,
Or treat you unkind.
The legs of the chair lifted off the concrete as he leaned back on the balcony. The speaker beside him played soft music as he emptied the contents of the glass into his mouth. The sound of a jet interrupted his solitude and he focused his concentration on it. The jet moved with such speed as it flew across the light blue sky. A white vapour trailed behind it indicating where it once was. The sight of the trail was greeted with a grin and he quickly ignited a cigarette to savour the moment. The jet flew out of his vision yet the trail remained behind. He closed his eyes and let his mind wander back over the last few days.
The two had never really talked before. Sure, words were exchanged, but it was the usual dialogue one might hear between sips of coffee at a diner. An exchange that may last anywhere from four seconds to 10. He had noticed her earlier yet noticing doesn't ensure being noticed. With that in mind he usually would just turn his head and appear to listen attentively. At irregular intervals he would peer over his right shoulder to catch a glimpse making certain not to make eye contact. With each passing week the idea of an original conversation seemed more likely to occur, yet, the weeks continued to pass and any exchange seemed unlikely.
He opened his eyes and adjusted his vision. The cigarette he had lit up earlier was smoldering in the ashtray. He leaned forward from his position and eased out of the chair. From the kitchen he produced another drink. Looking down into the glass he noticed the trails left behind by the vodka as it snaked between the ice and mix. The corners of his mouth slowly rose and another grin was formed. He exited the kitchen and quickly took up the chair on the balcony. He sipped at his drink and closed his eyes.
The familiar setting of a living room formed in his mind. Relaxing selections filled the air as he looked to his right. What seemed would be a tense situation was eluded as his eyes fixed onto hers. He continued to talk never believing that the conversation would falter. He didn't have to think of what to say nor did he want to. Original conversations flow easily with extended pauses being a rare occurrence. They talked through the night and although the words did not falter some did not register.
Once again he opened his eyes and allowed them to adjust. He picked up the glass and stared with blame at the contents. He lifted off the chair and entered the living room. Thumbing through the music he chose another quiet selection. From the pack on the table he retrieved a cigarette and then returned to the outside sanctuary to sit down. As he inhaled from the cigarette an orange colour glowed at the other end. Quickly thereafter a trail of smoke eased up from the end as it cooled. With another pleased grin he closed his eyes.
He lifted up his head and looked at the window. The sun's rays were piercing through and illuminated the room. He peered over to his left being careful not to wake her. With his arm underneath the back of her neck she seemed so peaceful in her sleep. He examined her facial features and the movement of her nose as she inhaled. The soft look of her cheeks and the quirky smile gained his attention, and he pondered as to whether her dreams were as peaceful as she looked. The feeling he felt inside never subsided as his eyelids became heavier and he drifted back to sleep.
Once again the sound of a jet interrupted his thoughts. He gazed at the object as it streaked across the sky. Quickly it was out of sight but the trail was left behind. He thought to himself how it was amazing that something could go by so fast yet produce an effect that could remain for so long. A grin formed across his face as he leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes.
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