Monday, 15 February 2010

2009: A Club Odyssey pt. 6

"This is some city," he says as they keep bumping through, "people give up everything just to come here. They think they can shed their old selves and maybe they can." He sees some protesters marching along, but the bus turns and he loses sight of them. "And you know what? I don't blame her for wanting to be here, I mean this is our place. But you've got to get out of it sometimes because it's so big and loud and...cold. Just cold. I bet there's some guy who has ice in his veins trying to seduce her right now, and she can't even tell because she's numbed. Hell, I'd be numbed too. She probably can't even hear half of what he's saying." "Poison, my friend, that is what I'm scared of. In the air, the water, everything. I want a farm, you know?" He nods, now actually worried if she is safe; if she has been seduced and abandoned, as well. He cannot be angry with her - not after
what he has done, after all.


And yet it is the city, where all things are indeed possible, where beauty hangs in the air waiting to be grasped, where the unexpected grace can still happen, and you can take the city as your sister, your friend, even as buildings and people collapse and rise, as the quiet night lets even a few birds and stars into view.


It was just them against the city, or so it felt; the city that was indeed cruel to them and made him go away, only for him to become ill and nearly die, then return to see her again; it was just them and everyone and everything else had its own consequences, theirs were theirs alone and there was a kind of pain in that but a joyous certainty as well. He knew what could happen, hoped would happen, hoped against hope; that she would be there waiting for him, her face smiling, her eyes shining...and they would do whatever they wanted. Now, just to find her.


It was getting hot in the club; too hot to dance that much, but the heat made the dancing just that more friendly, her skin that more melting into the air, it seemed, and her dizziness was due to lack of water. "I have to go freshen myself up, please" she said to him, he who was now even more gracious than ever, as she went to the restroom to splash herself with cold water. "Could I get you a drink?" he asked, his smiling face cold (though she didn't perceive this), she said yes, oh yes, and smiled back, tugging at her dress in a way that she would have slapped herself for doing, ordinarily. Is this the edge, she wondered, or just the verge? Hmm. Interesting.


He had to bear up against it, though it didn't please him. Not one damn bit. He could forgive her a lot, but love? Actual love? He knew she could not do it, could not just take someone else on in his absence. He winced at the idea; no, not winced, he shuddered. She was impulsive and capable of much, he certainly knew that, but they had their vows and she took them seriously. "We did that ourselves, we did that for ourselves, this is ours" she would say, "and it is magnificent and nothing in the world can destroy it. Not a word. Not a look. Nothing. I am in this with you hip-deep and no doubt about and I would never change that." He cursed himself for his doubts, maybe let himself look at a girl for too long, like rubbing himself the wrong way, just to punish himself. "Yo windypants you worry too much, why the long face?" his friend said as they were walking down the street.

"She likes life. She loves you. No reason to worry."


Freshened, she is able to balance for a moment before she enters. She sees the girls who want to be noticed, the players noticing them, even that guy who is still looking at her but not really doing anything more about it. She sees the shine of the rings, the bling-bling that shines and shines but says so little, she feels; there are gestures, looks that far outdo them. She remembers him and how he felt trapped in a room full of gold things; excited at first, then slowly turned off, unable to see anything for what it was after a while. I never wanted that and that way of thinking is alien to me, she thinks, walking unsteadily over to him, to the reddish drink in his hand, taking it and aiming it to where she thought her mouth was the last time she knew about it. "Whoops, missed there. Let me get you another one. And sit down, honey, don't be shy." She sat and wondered at the many sequins and satins, the vague dread that maybe she wouldn't get up again any time soon just edging into her pleasure.