Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Undoing of Harper M.

Something had happened these last months at the Cape. Harper began to fill with something so palpable she knew it from somewhere but couldn’t place it, and then it hit her. Relief. Oh, she’d meet her maker all right, but not from poisonous gas on the subway or in the sod of a rotted municipal machine. There’d been a mourning of sorts, a letting go. Goodbye to the device that filters water with nanotechnology; goodbye to softly-worn leaflets, those reading like prayers for sad women. Goodbye to the street urchins who’d hand her leaflets. Goodbye to escape routes; goodbye to code yellow, orange, red: DANGER!  Something inside her growing rampant, feral and out of control, this would be her undoing. This bug the best doctors in the best city couldn’t get a hold of, that her body kept alive and nurtured, that fed off her cells and blood and cytoplasm, it made her feel sorry for them, for Frank and the others. How they’d laugh if they heard her say it. She couldn’t say it – no – this was something you couldn’t say, not in the arms of your most cherished beloved, not after cataclysmic sex with a black Jesus. But as Frank steeped her tea in a pewter pot, dusted for mites beneath the bed, dragged down board games from the attic in their rented seashore abode, she could think it.

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