Inspiration spills from everywhere. From dust lingering on a diary and frost burned ice cream. For Rose, it bordered on the mundane turned even more mundane, then turned beautiful. Because it was first deconstructed, stripped of ego, honor, label—it had to have taken its last shuddering breath—it was then hers to use.
Which was unfortunate, as things tend to hold onto themselves more dearly then necessary. Things. Rose found them here and there. There were things in the subway garbage, things in the weary eyes of the neighborhood baker at dawn. They shimmered and then faded, as quickly as a downcast turn of the eye she was looking in. But there are always inward roads for beautiful girls. There is a green tree freckled with golden summer sunlight, visible only through a streaky window, for everyone.
Indecision is like the city of New York: stand on any corner and absorb every winking light and person walking by. If the onslaught of pedestrians doesn’t immediately crush you, you will be well aware of, and most likely overwhelmed by, the sheer amount of possibilities constantly flowing by. Constantly. A place so old and full and in a perpetual state of flux, it can’t help but test boundaries, masticate until your juices are gone, spit out the gristle. But this is not about a city; it’s just an example.
There is a saying: “You kill a man, you burn down a library.”
Well, libraries were one of the things she loved the most. And so, the bruised fruit sang to the bee.
Rose gazed down on the pulpy, bloody painting that was his face. It pained her; she couldn’t turn her eyes. He was oddly beautiful, prostrate like this, red and blue and the singular pale olive that was his natural complexion. Yet he wasn’t dead, and his eyes sparked as he said, I’m sorry. As she sat down next to him, cradling his head in her lap and mopping his bleeding forehead with a filthy shirt, he told her what happened.
I asked around for a while. I was at that place on 4th where we found that girl that was obsessed with your lips, remember? She kept trying to touch them so we left. You knew what writer she was talking about. Anne Sexton. Right. I went there and there was this group of chicks. There was this blonde, she looked, whatever, like needy. If this was a normal kind of night it would’ve been too easy, but I had this feeling. She…reminded me of you. How you were a few weeks ago. Just this feeling. Like a darty look, shady but like she was just looking around too fast. Anyway. I got her a drink and she talked so much. I didn’t even have to lead. The bar was dark, darker than it usually is, I remember that for some reason, and I asked the bartender. He said they were replacing the old system. She hit her head in the ladies room and said she was dizzy, so I tried putting her in a cab but she made me get in with her. When we were in, the driver thought we were crazy because she kept laughing. Rose, it was weird. Like, creepy. Like that time we pretended to have sex in the cab and we got kicked out? No, this time the driver didn’t look pissed, he looked like he thought we were Bonnie and Clyde or something. But that was funny. We pretty much got a free ride that night.
Don’t look at me like that. I’m alright. Shit, she wanted to go to my place but I got her to tell the driver her address. Thank God. God. Her voice was like Minnie Mouse at Disney, except on drugs, and except I’ve never been. She might have done some blow in the ladies, I don’t know. All I really know is that I wanted to never see her again but something kept me in that cab. She lives on the other side of the park. Her place looked like an attic bedroom…slanted walls. Creaky floors. The smell of dirty laundry. I don’t know why I’m telling you these details, they don’t matter. It’s just burned in my memory. They matter. Yeah.
She started kissing my neck but I made like I needed to roll a cigarette. Don’t roll your eyes. She smelled like whiskey. Like a girl. I kept trying to scan her place…I couldn’t shake it. Something was here, a connection, whatever. So I saw it soon. That fucking fancy sock. Sock. That. Fucking. Fancy. Sock. The same kind I found at your place when I “came over unannounced.”
At that moment the room shook with unspoken regret. He lifted his eyes to hers and his accent hung heavy and ripe. I asked you and you didn’t lie, which was something I would have done. And then I…left. You left.