by Mr White
A love story that ever teetered on the brink, but never crossed the line.
|The Silence, the Violence and the Noise
Tom stepped the mac. It was tough (what is mac made from?), damp, giving to the foot. Notwithstanding he slipped off it into the Gallery grounds.
Great oaks and beech loomed and shook out their locks. The wind strong, warm Atlantic to the cheek. The grass lush, mounding hummocks hid cod Moore’s in their exposed bellies. But the night pressed down. Stars pricked. He took a seat on the high bank, the city lights below. Struck a match and watched the air snatch off its blunt fuse, fashioned a roll up from practised fingers. His lighter required a cupped hand inside the coat’s wing. The fox eye burned…
So the smoke felt good, smooth on the lining of the throat. Odd that. Sometimes it felt harsh. Sometimes with a touch of cold even tasted noxious. Must stop! Youth winding down - no more that crass immortality.
But there’s that woman. Damned woman. He’d never ask. She just stares consent, yet requires he ask. What is he? An actor? He drew his tobacco burn through his teeth, loved its textured dream. Eyes screwed, resolute. Let her. Let her go off with big Al.
Back up the hill Sarah slipped her arm through the sleeve. Big Al placed the coat over shoulder, lifted the collar to cheek. She smiled and with her large green open eyes pierced his mind with a spark of his own alchemy. She inclined her head and gently held his elbow. As she left his heart sank just as it had soared.
So down the hill the mac sparked up a fair stiletto sound. No fire, just the effect. The sound bounced off the terraced canyon. Soon the effort grated with its class repetition. She held a lamp and plucked them off, placed them in her bag. The cool damp mac soothed her feet anyway. A wet compact massage.
At the Gallery opening she left the rough elephant hide path and felt the grass throng under her pleasantly cushioned foot. Down in the bowl the cod Moore reclined, head lump on elbowed hand. She squatted down beside its smooth contour. Buddha position she fiddled ‘a rolly’, her west country word.
Tom opened his eyes upon the skyline. The scintillant streets on the far hill cowered below Jupiter’s mighty reach. He lowered his sight and caught a small movement on the grass. Was it alive, a roiling of limbs? He screwed his lids to cut out glare. No, it was a head, a women’s head. The limbs were locks. She was sat in the bowl.
Suddenly the figure shot up straight. Visible to waist height, Sarah flung her coat off dismissively with a last violent jerk at her elbow. The left sleeve caught and inside out she shrugged off its pleading grip. Sarah! Unmistakable. She sat back down.
Tom sighed, but caught a further gleam off Jupiter’s distant eye. Sod this. With a similar start he also got up, screwed up his eye and like Eastwood took a toke on his woodbine. Visceral, he threw it into the dark. As he arrived at the lip of the curve he took out a cigarette paper and scrunched it minute. With precision between finger and thumb he arced it across to gently land in the fulsome lock at her crown. She flinched her hand to check, in the same movement, turned. ‘Tom!’ Tom scowled. ‘Well don’t just stand there loitering, come and sit down!’
Tom did as told. Beside her he scowled a dark, preternatural moan. Her large green eyes just swallowed it up, enlarged with wonder at his sudden intensity. ‘You look like murder like you’re about to go off!’ His frown dissolved into a cheekier grin, he winked.
What could he do? Again she waited. Just waited. For what? Exactly why couldn’t he articulate his desire? Why must she challenge him to withhold it? He knew without complete confidence in his power, he lacked it. Why could he not have it? Her magnitude? Yet he knew, or so wanted to, no one else could stimulate this strangest of women.
He wrote her startling, passionate letters that brought this out. Or did he? Then he’d wait for her to seduce him. Like she’d done that very first time. That electromagnetic kiss. A molten drop of surest quicksilver love.
‘Look, there she sits! Imperious Venus!!’ ‘I thought that was Jupiter?’ ‘Ah, that’s where you all go wrong!’