Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Victoria Williams: 0277

Alan is back from his lecture tour entitled: What is a functioning human being? (Was that it, just then, what I saw in that room, was that supposed to be it? Was that an example of ‘function’?) And I warm coffee-ish stuff over the gas burner and don’t say anything. I don’t say – 6 weeks early! And I don’t ask did he cancel the dates or did they? Was it his idea to paint the silver line down his nose or was it theirs? (When the spotlight’s on it, he says, it looks a little thinner; less Slavic.) His post at the university... his creative writing seminars (ultimately, he told his students, all you can do is – remember your dreams. And he’d spread out his hands to them.) What is left of it all but a congratulatory fruit-basket, now wizened, sent to him by a woman with his handwriting? We regard each other jealously in the flickering light. Imperceptibly, the curdling of our blood begins. Yes, I will later write in my diary, he made a break for it, but he had to come back; I at least have the comfort of never having left.