Quills (1 of 10)
He said something about a reoccurring date night. I was mixing eggs with rice-milk and chives, the stove was on behind me. He was leaning against the kitchen bench, talking about a meal once a week, with wine. Probably the pompous red he claimed to adore, all the sucker for pretence. I bent low to the counter, sucked some of the unfertilised ovum into my mouth. I turned, his face a picture. Confusion dribbling in lines around his stupid dull, sleep-laden eyes. I spat the mouthful at him with such speed and force he had no time to avoid the thick uneven stream. Then I turned back and continued mixing. He may have swore, I wasn’t listening. Too content was I in the annoyance of others. You have to keep things forever changing, you know. He wasn’t my husband. I did not deem him worthy of my stability.
There was also Elyse, who worked at the coffee shop we would frequent on Wednesday mornings. His idea, of course. The lout. He liked to think she had a crush on him. That her pounding heart would seize in utter disparity when we would enter at the predictable time of seven thirty. I sneered at her soft, virgo-esque features. She would just allow her lips to lilt upward. He would lean one arm on the marbled New-York-style bar and get as close to her scent as possible. He’d ask about her love interests, tease her with cloying words that made me feel ill. I felt sorry for him. And disgusted when he would take my hand on exiting, so to stir the fevered cocktail of unrequited lust she apparently kept only hypothetical. You see, I shared her bed once a week. That was my date night. She had the elbows of a schoolgirl and moans that were akin to the echoes of stolen laughter in an off-limits theatre. The scent he couldn’t quite place but lavished over – was my own mix of cinnamon and chilli. She was not my Juliet, though.
He would pretend to work on his first ‘great novel’, every Thursday evening. It was the only time he had to really get his ‘mind into gear’, he mused. I responded, despondent. As was my duty. His ‘great novel’ was fairly cliché. I felt he would find it much fairer game to write about Us. Or, more so; Me. Not because I felt he was the great rolling log, unsinkable, centred in the whirlpool that was my life. That I should feel just overwhelmed and fluttery at the thought of being made immortal by this one soul that I so coveted. I enjoyed the idea of being villianised by an idiot. His moans were like the great food-scouting cries of an abject sea bird. I would tire of waiting, though. He must have thought himself one of the great lovers, when I would intercept his in-depth pillaging of the written word by grappling at his neck, feigning an exorbitant need for his loins. I assure you, I was simply consumed with boredom at the sight of his curved unappealing spine. Or when he assumed a dubious profile, mimicking a figure lost in thought. He had a pleasant enough face, I suppose. But this was only the veneer that disguised the sham of complete un-attraction he possessed.
I do accept I must sound unreasonably harsh, and he did have a handful or so of fine points. He allowed my frequent bouts of insanity and assumed the affectation it did not offend or render him largely at odds with his emotions. He did not urge me to dance at the music shows we steadied. He would always push a cool vodka and apple juice behind the knuckles of my right hand, for once not making a cabaret of the great provider he was. He would do this quietly and gently. I was always a little perturbed when he did not feel the urge to expose us a de facto couple.
Ultimately, though. I did not care. His apparent need to procreate chafed with my unbreakable will to remain un-needed. Yes, in the end, I told him he had not encircled my heart with his manner, prose or features, as he had intended (and driven himself to the point of egg-soaked exhaustion for – I would repeat the mouthful of egg trick many more times. Occasionally substituting the sunny yolks for whatever else it was I was mixing when the opportunity arose. Tuna and tomatoes were fairly common). I found the ordeal of initiating the end to be unprecedentedly tiring. Furthermore I fastened onto the notion that in order to allow someone to leave your routine, you must colour their memory with a seamy palette of soiled evenings and irate arguments. So, I devastated his celebration of our relationship. I stated I found his presence humiliating and his whole person I established to be noxious and virulent. The Great Writer that he was, he did not even know what half the words I used meant. I imagined him, later, poring over that pretentious, lumbersome leather-skinned dictionary he had insisted was well-worth the two-hundred and something just-earned dollars he eventually paid for it. Let that be a symbol of the unfounded small-man syndrome he inexplicably had.
I left the city, he stayed on in our quaint apartment, Elyse laughed over his sudden onslaught of affection towards her, down the phone. She came to live with me while she worked on her first exhibition. The difference between them was vast. Faux ‘Great Writer’ and impeccably talented painter. I never heard if he completed any such ‘great work’. I do know that eventually Elyse would arrive in my arms, my Juliet. And I softened considerably in the presence of her well-spoken soliloquies. If Karma is indeed a man armed with one sword and one damp cloth, I expect she will find a way to leave me. I can only consolidate myself with the hope that perhaps he deserved the dramatic degradation of his ideals and trust.
Well, either that or I’m fucked, really.