His eyes betrayed that he was elsewhere, somewhere between melancholy and elation. She couldn’t quite grasp where, exactly.
She was staring at him from the other side of the room, holding the white plush towel tightly around her, the yellow stripes enhancing the curves of her body while giving some semblance of protection. Like the towel was the last shield left that could offer it. But nothing could protect her from herself, the burning questions inside her were filling her with the acrid smell of jealousy and the rancidity of resentment.
She was looking at him as if he was a book written in a foreign language that she couldn’t read. Probably some old forgotten language. He was always a bit quirky, which made her want to know him even more. Was it too late? Could she learn his language? Would he bother teaching her?
But that’s not what she was thinking there and then. She was scrutinising him accusingly, his initial endless fidgeting driving her crazy, just prolonging the silence, the pain, noting down his every breath, sigh and eye movement as he sat on his side of the bed in his boxers.
He rose to roll a joint.
He wasn’t afraid to tell her the truth; or maybe he was, a bit, but he was mostly wary that she wouldn’t understand it. She couldn’t. She would only get hurt. It would be pointless even trying; just a dragging, tiring argument. Putting it in words, just then, felt like defiling one rare corner in his life that was left sacred.
I didn’t sleep with her, he says inhaling the first puff, or rather I did. Literally. We just slept together, in the same bed.
Just. Just not. Whatever. I didn’t fuck her if that’s what you’re asking. We didn’t even get naked, if that’s what you’re thinking.
Does that make you feel less jealous? Because it shouldn’t. Because if you asked me if we made love, then yes, we did. We made the best love in the world, old ancient love that lasts forever, the love of happiness. We stripped ourselves more naked than baby skin, more naked than water, we entered each other bearing fragile candles just so we could blow them out in our darkest places, and we flew across forests on broomsticks and laughed pissing ourselves from up there, and would never get back down here were it not…
A cloud of smoke now separated them by light years, like the monsoon and the desert that with the help of computer graphics he could switch from at the touch of a tiny button. He was panting, sweating at the eyebrows. She was frozen.
This will never end. It’s useless pretending otherwise.
He didn’t want to hurt her, but that’s only as possible as having no casualties in war. She wanted to know all the details and now she was just lost, unable to understand, like he knew she would.
He had thought about killing it all, he thought it over and over again, killing this improbable fling that became an obsession, so as not to hurt her, so as not to hurt anyone. That’s like keeping your car in the garage so as not to run out of fuel, his lover had told him once while he was somewhat reluctantly, or more confused, lighting candles in her bedroom, the night he slept with her.
So yes, my dear, I slept with her.
What’s sex but a tickle next to all that? Maybe a punch, granted. Not to downplay orgasm but, you know, sometimes you don’t even get it. You, as in women, not you as you. I know you do.
But you know what I mean.
Well if you don’t it just proves my point, my dear.
You don’t expect the weatherman to announce a scandal do you? Or to break news of a new world war. It wasn’t the weatherman who told us they shot Kennedy.
But you know, sometimes they do. I guess that’s what happened to me. I was watching the weather report, as always, barely regarding his everyday nonsense, clouds, peshing rain and thunderstorms are my everyday life this side of the world, and I like it because I can wear jumpers and scarves. It makes the sun even more valuable. It’s useful to know if it’s too windy (god I hate wind except when I’m on the cliffs watching the sea) just so I can decide whether to carry one of my colourful umbrellas that I like matching to the handbag of the day (I have looots of them, both umbrellas and handbags, all bought from sales or flea markets, a couple of umbrellas I stole from nasty people), but my pragmatic side tends to take over so I always carry my wee foldable umbrella with me, and in any case my friendly trees along my street always warn me when I wake up to tell them good morning. And well, when it’s sunny, the light comes into my room first thing in the morning and shows me my otherwise dark tiny abode that I love lighting with tiny candles that I always steal from my wee little brother’s and sister’s birthdays.
One day, as I was eating takeaway sushi, he just stopped halfway through his report, as if realising I wasn’t listening, and looked me in the eye from inside the screen to announce that the world was about to end. It’s ending, now, just like we’re dying, you know, he told me. I blushed. For a second or more it felt as if something heavy was going down my throat to engulf my guts. It’s been a while now but I remember well that we then both broke out laughing, crazily, slightly out of nervousness, but mostly out of this sense of freedom. There’s nothing that is more liberating than knowing that the end of the world is now, right now. The end of the world makes every moment monumental, immortal, to die for. Like reaching orgasm with the person you love.
I have his lighter that I keep with me. It’s the kitschiest thing on earth, with a red heart on it. He used it once to help me light the candles. I nicked it from him but just before he left the next day he remembered it and pretended he had lost it, telling me to keep it.
So for me it stopped being the daily weather report, it became this daily programme I got addicted to, a daily telenovela if you like, just because it was so crazy, because it felt so good, it was right. And it’s there for me, playing and replaying itself everyday, retelling our tale forever, because the best fairy tales have no ending, and our last chapter will be written together.
Cloud formations covering half the world are currently being drunk by the sun in a phenomenon never experienced before.
All the world’s armies are on the other half of the world, missiles pointed towards the sun although experts tell us there is no rocket on earth that could reach it.
It is also feared that when shot in the direction of the sun, missiles might defect and turn back to explode where they left from.
Government sources tell us a Universal War Cabinet has been formed and is convening now in a secret location. The ministers, whose names have also been kept secret, are reportedly flanked by chess grandmasters from all over the world, together with eschatologists, pathologists, astrologists, astronomers, soothsayers, dream interpreters and psychoanalysts.
The Minister of Information has appealed for calm.
Meanwhile hurricane Manuel is sweeping across the United Arab Emirates uprooting all fake trees and destroying every tower and crane on its way. The hurricane is also estimated to have left millions of dollars of damages in US military bases abroad, from where all drones seem to have disappeared. It is now moving westwards where it is feared it might be joined by cyclone Morgane that has been wreaking havoc across Europe. A toddler who escaped miraculously as Morgane brushed by the south of France told his parents that he realised the cyclone was on its way when the dragon kite he was flying just, quote, “escaped like in a fairy tale”. Earlier today while still raging over the UK, Morgane destroyed what was once the Olympic Village built for this year’s event as well as carried with it all advertising billboards, except those publicising Gothic films. A spokesman from Saatchi & Saatchi’s regional hub in London told us that from his office, quote, “this all looks like a f****** sick joke”.
And in an unrelated story that just reached us from news wires, a mother in Guatemala gave birth to a baby boy with a tooth in his throat. Doctors say this unprecedented…