Saturday, February 14, 2009

& the story of the Lacedaemonian man and woman: she was set starkly in the tall grass with her shoulders squared aiming the rifle two miles up the hill at the stranger wandering into her land. Why is this the story that preludes the hospital? The land was the same: it's rolling hills of wheat and dense cliques of lush oaks in an amber sun of dusk. But why is she sick? My older friend (was it my father?) was trimming dust jackets, and we agreed that smoking cigarettes was the best while maintenancing a book collection. "Why did you just sit and not come over?" She'd asked. All the patients had giant cribs decorated like an inmate decorates his cell, the light was dim, the sceptic cardboard pungence of the hospital corridor was a haunted architecture striped yellow across blue walls, no private rooms, just the floor and sickness, debilitating injuries screaming echoes in the lamplight. I was terrified by all of it, and too distracted to have even seen Her, the only Love who'd left me years ago, sitting beside her own crib and eyeing my terror of the sickness she'd come into. But She'd been cured of it, whatever it was, and we were there to bring her home. Sydney must have been as distant a dream to her as it was to me, and she gives me a tour of the place, showing it in a new light. She loves it here and wants to show me why. Suddenly the place is bustling -- there are cyclists with angular physiques carrying their bikes up stairways, there's loud music thumping from certain doors, and she leads me into a great hall, as large as a high school gymnasium, lighted only by the cloudy windows drawing silver and shadowy daylight, and floored with waterproof wrestling mats. Above, they've turned on the sprinkler system and let it run continuously. The patients, twenty-five of them or so, run in the showers and slip on the mats, tossing footballs and asking us to join them, which we do and run in the shower and push each other over on the mats until we decide that its time to go, we've come to bring her home after all. & in the car with her father there was a dreadful listlessness, he had Black Flag playing on the radio and decided McDonalds would be a good choice, pulling into the parking spot. I said to her: I want things to go back to the way they were. & she said, No one's deepening anymore, we don't deepen on one another anymore. & I asked if that was all there was too it? 'You know as well as I do,' she said, eating a french fry, 'Neither of us really loved the other, we merely loved the affect the other aroused within us. It wasn't each other, it was ourselves we loved.' What was it that I wanted? I wanted her to say that I loved lamp, for her to laugh from the chest with her lips clenching an audible smile pointing a finger at me from beneath her chin, and for her to say the Lacedaemonian woman wasn't there as a prelude, but a prolepsis of an epilogue that would never be read.


Josie Iacarella said...

Mr. Meyer your diction is wonderful. and i love the image of Her pointing her finger at you from under her chin... i can see it perfectly. props, sir.

Travis said...

My unconscious deserves all the credit.