Friday, December 2, 2005
An Incident with Small Talk
The quiet of the breath taken, then held, then expelled really like nothing else than a gasp and release scattering the particles into equal portions. The cars parked in the rear chew the asphalt with relish, a stationary address to the puddles formed beneath them (a man with a large hose making it look as though it just rained).
All the way from Michigan the landscape alerted me to a vista fluctuating in a firm allegiance with the exigencies of variety, different lunches in small towns down the stretch, brand-names like home assuaging the intrusion of new accents Though we may be quibbling over the rites of Scrabble the information is good enough to show that the word perambulates does not mean a description of what we did before we learned to walk on the twin limbs under the distinguishing genitalia.
Blood courses coarsely from the lip that caught the ball with the old college try, a hard knock that really rocked some sense into the meaning of duck. Preferring instead the bed of attention, I studied the knot holes in the planks of the ceiling, never high enough to manage the adjustment; I was a bug on my back trying to get up. A quality of life maintained in all courtesy to a hand stretched for all the copper you could spare, no matter, even the meters spit them back.
“Do you want to know a secret” she asked, “Do promise not to tell?”
Her voice was light, a small gasp of air, with shade of a whistle that blowing through her teeth, and I nodded the best I could.
“Well" she began,” one night I was in the Alpha-Beta to buy some wine and this kid who couldn’t have been anymore than eighteen was behind the cash register. I gave him the money and he gave the change and then put the bottle into a bag for me. He sold me wine. That’s illegal, you know? ”
I said that I did know, although it hadn’t bothered me for some time.
”Anyway, his name is Ken and I said I wouldn’t tell anyone. Promise not to tell?”
I said yes, of course, nary a soul will hear of the deed.