Saturday, August 14, 2010

fiction: from "boy and girl and man and woman," a novel-in-progress;

To write out a comet, you have to know how a comet is made. And to find out how a comet is made, treat it just like an engine.
Girl studies the stars and then, piece by piece, takes them apart in her eyes. Her eyes, where she collects them. Been there from an earlier age.
Girl wonders what it would be like to live on the surface of moon. Would they have to wear helmets and suits the whole time? How would they eat? How would they kiss?
Living a life on the moon in space-helmets and space-dust, her and a someone and maybe their space-dog. She had a hard time picturing it, without falling into historical images from dreams, mid-century depictions of life in the future. The previous century.
Girl is eager for the future to arrive. Or is it already here?

Is that all there is? Girl's mother, a torch-song at the counter, as she rinses breakfast dishes. Songs her mother has always sung, a river of song, washing throughout the house. Early Beatles, some Rolling Stones, Kurt Weil and Cole Porter. Through osmosis, it seems, Girl's musical education remains subtle, scattered and almost ethereal. The wind. If she could only reach up, and touch, she would know. But Girl knows, these lessons are hardly deliberate.
So slippery, still, it takes years for her body to notice, her mind to recall. There at her own sink, a whole backlog of playlist come suddenly open.

Little flowers, lined up in rows. Like secrets. Girl scrapes out the earth, miniature boxes that target her windowsill. From the ground, her window-frame reminiscent of carnival target-games, always afraid as she waters and upkeeps that some boy with a bb gun might off in the distance, attempting a prize. Purple petunias, backgrounded by bedroom soft pink.
The sidewalk below, an older boy rolls a large satchel, an oversized black guitar case on wheels. Stand-up bass, she realizes. Down the sidewalk and up, around corner like nothing at all. As though he was walking a dog.
Girl occasionally plinked the keys of her grandmother's piano, but doesn't play. Her mother, still, deflects her requests for lessons. Apartment-sized, when no one around. Always someone around. In the sitting room, where she never allowed to sit, play or do anything. Couches covered with plastic. That room is for guests, dear, she'd hear. But Girl does not understand. But I don't live here, she thinks.
Her grandmother doesn't make sense. She wonders if her grandmother understands what “guests” means.
Water threatens like memory. Rain. Watches there from her window, this happiness. Girl. The rain is what happens when father comes home. This is what brings him.

No comments: