Nov 23-24, 2011
The brittle road of Banaba St. did not fail to push Roy off balance in his seat as he was texting candidly with his right hand and gripping the open mouth of his broken-zippered bag with his left. He wasn’t aware of his reflexes, when the back of his left elbow grazed smoothly with the cold skin of Rita. He saw his eyes touching hers, as if both were admitting to something; maybe just a quick reunion of two organisms that have divided for millions of years ago only to reunite once again. They were dark and secretive, he thought, but the outline of her face and the dashboard of her smile that made his eyes want to park suggested a mysterious story. The touch reminded him of intimacy. Not from romancing of the soul but physical and sensual intimacy, a premise for the next possible thing. Love. But Roy did not think that. He never thought about that word and what its essence means. For him, emotions belong to only one being and that’s the self. The one mind. And no one else can experience the same exact thing. In that case not only language has a barrier but even empathy, even any kind of understanding, especially this.
“I’m sorry.” Rita said with dreaming smile. She was looking at his eyes like a mountaineer looks at a summit being only a few steps away. But behind the look she was thinking of Geraldo, her fiancé, and how their conversation a few hours ago went perfectly for her favour. She said she’d only agree to go with him to Paris for the week, a gift he planned for 5 gruelling months, if they tried to have their first baby there. Geraldo, who treats Rita like she’s a part of him, filled with tension and bliss; a thrilling romance he imagined existed only in Tolstoy novels. He treats her like he treats himself. And so when he’s inspired, which was often, he inspires her as well. And the free loving spirit of Rita, which lingers like a leaf, fell on the helipad of admiration towards his passion for the simplest pleasures. It made Geraldo even happier when he realized that it must have taken huge leaps of commitment for Rita to propose such choice. It meant that she understood him the same way. She now treats Geraldo like he’s a part of her. She treats him like he treats himself. And their relationship is a revolving cycle of an ideal life. So when Rita dropped her eyes from Roy and to the long open road outside the jeep, she looked so peaceful and friendly. And this startled him; he hasn’t been close to anybody for months, so he took this as a responsive expression that is a sign of interest.
“It’s okay.” He said with a raspy voice. Embarrassed, he tried to snatch and hide it under a small cough and immediately swallowed spit. And a few more little coughs the sound of rocks grinding pavement just to make sure the voice won’t come back again. What an odd reply, she apologized.
The road went flat now and he still resisted letting go of the seductive image that was blinking sharply in his mind. He was conscious now, and he reflected about it. He wondered whether she felt a change of ambience too and if so, was she attracted to him. He stole a glance of her when he pretended to look behind him and at the road and tried his best to memorize her face, then her body, thighs and feet, the short moment he looked away. He got excited. She’s beautiful, he thought, what wonderful carved body, and the smile, oh that smile, I could lie on little fabrics of her smile all of my life. He waited for another shattered road that would give him the small chances of getting close to her, maybe feel her whole arm against mine and finally imagine being embraced by her. He wondered how she smelled like, and if sniffing her nape would make her giggle.