28 October 2013

Truth Told Slant

His hands were always fixing something — a soap pump, a fan. He was always smoking. I swept and wiped and pulled dead leaves. I opened the curtains. "Shut that," he said. He said something about a draft, or keeping dirt out, or. Once, he gave me a square of paper. It was small. On one side was a network name and a password for the WiFi of a hotel he'd just stayed in in California. On the other side he wrote in his slanted script, "This is a promise about connection. I love you. M.M." He shoved the paper in my wallet when I was buying us wine at a wine store in Chelsea, before we took the train back to his shadow. It was the First of July. I didn't find the scrap of paper in my wallet until later, maybe two weeks or so, and when I mentioned the note to him, he didn't remember writing it, or giving it to me. It made me wonder if the message was meant for me. His hands, I'm telling you, they were always in something, doing something. Lighting something, writing something, touching something. He used them to talk, he did this thing where he'd bring his fingers together and kind of make a stirring motion, downward. I know it matters that he didn't remember writing me the note, or giving it to me, or that it may not have even been meant for me. Or, that he might've been lying when he'd said he didn't remember writing the note, or giving it to me. But when truth is always served slant, it's hard to make out the matter. He said the curtains were drawn to keep out draft, or dirt, or. I said I wanted to bring in light. But I didn't try to open the curtains again. I was afraid it would be like in that story — was it a Calvino story? — where someone bangs on a door until it opens, only to discover there's nothing on the other side.

1 comment:

James said...

Great stuff Sarah, very inspiring order of thoughts and instances.