Saturday, November 19, 2011
My brain threw up some words tonight.
(This is fiction. I was reading Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer, and this just sort fell outta my head onto "paper".)
Jane reached her car, fumbled with the keys, and let her thumb hover over the unlock button. Her heartbeat drowned out the sounds of the street, masking even the faint rush of the ocean as it caressed the shoreline behind her. She knew she should leave. That her next move should be to get into the car, start the ignition, pull out of the parking lot and never look back. When she reached her destination (a ranch-style home, a pug, a wall of neatly framed pictures with the frozen smiles of people from her life, a husband, a job) she'd find a way to slip back into the routine of things. It wouldn't be easy. It would never be easy again, knowing that she'd chosen logic over passion. But what else could she do? She was settled.
She closed her eyes tightly, and inhaled. Their parting hug left remnants of his scent on her clothes; one part diner food two parts sandalwood.
Couldn't she somehow make a logical argument for the need to act on emotions? Emotions never got a fair fighting chance? Not for Jane. She didn't let emotions interfere with her choice of colleges. She didn't let emotions intercede when she allowed herself to courted by and later married to the firm's finest up-and-coming prosecuting attorney. She didn't let emotions butt-in when they decided not to adopt when natural-born children became a non-option. Didn't she owe it to herself to make at least one life choice purely on emotion? True, logic had provided a home and husband and dog and job, but not love.
What waited for her back behind the counter of the diner was a choice based entirely on emotion. After everything, he deserved better, Jane thought with certainty, but he still wanted her. She tried to remember the details of their final embrace, every nuance, how she trembled at the gentleness of his touch, his breath on her ear, the whispered longing, and that lump that rose from her gut into her throat and burned still.
She turned, looked over the tops of the cars lined next to hers and stared at the horizon. The sun dipped its toe into the ocean, and the water welcomed its touch, reflecting back crests of gold. As the two grew nearer, the water ignited streamers of fire, and it seemed as if they belonged together. The ocean was bland, tepid, and lonely until its lover returned to awaken a flame within.
Her eyes wandered to the diner. She could make out his figure, watching her from behind the glass. That stupid orange shirt. A name tag. Chocolaty brown hair spiked with reckless abandon. Two leather wristbands. There was nothing logical about him.
His eyes fixed on her, the pleading clear even from a distance. Jane slipped both hands into her blazer pockets and licked her lips. They felt rough, textured. Lonely.