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Like the love rising inside me, cooked and lost in a bag of similar golf balls, she considered my stack of books, aware of the promise behind my garb. I existed more in the future than my checkered and spotted past. “We should taste the honey,” she said while I laced flowers into her dress with a pine needle.
“Consider the mushroom,” she said. “A brilliant example of the terms we’ve been discussing.” She stood and shed her plume in a cloud of acrid guitar smoke. I blinked my eyes and nodded. For two months I taught her English. She taught me French but I was a lazy student, the unhatched egg, the listing cow, the veering moth.
We danced in a pasture of daisies until she said, “I hate daisies. When my father died his coffin was surrounded with daisies. I bent down to kiss him on the cheek and a bee stung my nose.” I remembered the infinity of possibility that my mind had continued to overlook. “I must learn to trust again,” I said. It was a quiet day at the front but the home guard still patrolled the streets.
“I am exploring a mode of existence in which I do not speak, think, or express myself in any way,” she said. “Do you understand me?” It took years to write the novel I threw away in a minute. “You are overripe for something good to happen to you,” she said. “Yes,” I answered. “It’s been years since I’ve been to the coast.”
Downstairs all was quiet, even the pacing ceramic cat. Like the ends that never meet, hasty fellowship is rarely a solved dime of contentment. Knowing which words come next is only enough to sustain the billed moment, but the river of continuity thrives on documents of inebriated length.
“Did you pay the apple tax?” she asked. “Wait,” I said. “Not just yet.” I struck an ironic pose of worship beneath the tree. She laughed and told me about the man like me she had never met. “I was never able to count on the potential of your existence,” she said, “but here you are.”
I dipped the oars and rowed.