Saturday, September 27, 2008

the end : my first venture into short storydom after a very long recess

there is such hope in her voice, small on the other end, a little bewildered to the fact that after all these months thinking she wasn't wanted, wasn't needed... and with one fell swoop she felt lifted again. underneath the brown of her eyes was a gold that pulsed, warmed her all the way into her core. the other end of the phone fell silent once more, and it flipped shut, like a period at the end of a sentence. well, an ellipses. it's a to be continued, she thought, as she gathered her things and went inside to get prepared for the end of the story.

she was wanted.
she was needed.

she took a shower, washed the days' pollution off her skin, thought about the end of the story. the water was hot and at times, too hot, scalding her delicacies as she shaved. she liked the shower better than the bath. it felt more alive and real, and she would always imagine all her iniquities wash down the drain to a place where no one, not even she, knew they existed. stepping out she opened the bathroom door and wiped the condensation from the mirror. it was a clear circle of her face surrounded by a frosted reflection. this was how she felt every day of her life.

she reapplied her makeup, her eyes had smudged with mascara from the steam. she liked it, it was mysterious. she made faces in the mirror, fish faces and sexy faces and innocent faces, thinking about the end of the story. she dressed in her new tank top and dabbed shalimar by guerlin behind her ears and in between her breasts. shalimar by geurlin was her grandmothers favorite, and it reminded her of growing up and watching nanette cook in the kitchen; her heels clicking against the shellacked wood floors, and her seamed pantyhose extending up into her high waisted dress. she couldn't ever see more of nanette, because she was always in the playpen, until nanette picked her up and let her taste the beef bourgenoiuse sauce or the sweet nutmeg cream for the crepes, and she would be nestled in between nanettes chest, shalimar and beef and nutmeg all around her. when nanette died she put a vial of shalimar in her rigor mortise hand in the casket. she certainly would not have wanted to smell bad in heaven.

she walked across the street to have dinner with her friends, and they laughed and drank wine and made fun of men, even though she was thinking about the end of her story. she gave hugs and kisses and went back to her house, where it was quiet and intrusive as she finished off a bottle of sauvignon blanc, creating a beautiful end to her story. she would answer the phone and be told to walk to her door, and upon opening it would discover a big box. but she would realize that as she opened it there were only smaller and smaller boxes packed inside until she got to the last one, which had instead, an envelope. in the envelope would be a plane ticket to a big city, to a place where she could finish the story she had started writing so long ago, and send it off and have it published and win whatever sort of prize there is to win for a well written short story and she would wear shalimar and fall in love with herself and someone else and be golden, just like the center of her eyes.

but she woke the next morning at her table, still clutching her phone in one hand with the empty wine bottle not too far away from the other. between the pounding of her head and her aching back she could hear birds chirping outside, announcing the day as if it were a blessing. a blessing, she thought, grabbing ibuprofen from the medicine cabinet. a blessing is a pleasant surprise, a good return on taxes... this is just another morning, on another day, of another page, of someone else's book.


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