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“You’re owl is creepy.”


 


“I know.”


 


“And it’s ear is broken.”


 


“That’s why I like it.”


 


She was standing in front of his dresser, leaning hard on one hip. Her hands were clenched in fists, pressed into the corners of her coat pockets, making it stretch at the shoulder seams. He watched her tight fists burrowed in silken seams as she shifted her weight to turn away from him. She swayed lightly in air currents he was unaware of.


 


He watched her as she surveyed the items on his dresser, as if these few items would explain some deeper meaning in him she wouldn’t be able to ask. One hand, loosened of it’s imprisonment picked up one of his cufflinks that were lying in a lightly pink seashell. Sitting next to it sat his golden antique owl with the red gem eyes. 


 


“Those were my grandfather’s. I never wear them.”


 


“You should.”


 


She set the gold and black square down in the dish of crustaceous life, the dull clang took the silence and it seem quiet out to the far sky. He felt, being acutely aware of every one of her movements, a curious wave of calm, like a scientist observing moss grow. Hand back in pocket, she leaned into her heels, shifting her gaze upward at the painting hanging above his dresser. It was o a ship at a rocky sea in a mild storm.


 


“I just picked it up somewhere.”


 


“It’s nice.”


 


He didn’t know what to say since it was not a nice painting. He did pick it up somewhere for some simplicity in the atmosphere, or maybe for distractions of normalcy. It was by a nobody who painted unimpressive scenes of impressive things. 


 


“I mean, it’s a nice thought, a ship at sea. Not necessarily a nice painting.”


 


She turned to face him and smiled a small smile, warm and humorous. He was sitting on the end of his bed leaning back on his elbows, his shoulders hunched, his knees spread, feet wide apart. He observed how her hands relaxed a little and her coat didn’t stretch at the shoulders. She stood still too, there, looking at him until she slipped her coat off, slowly, reassuringly placing it on a wooden chair by the door. He felt the air warm. She approached the bed, and with a small jump fell into the pillows beside him.


“Do you smoke in here?” She had a cigarette folded in her finger and a light. He sat up, folded one knee onto the bed and turned to face her. She moved the ashtray on his nightstand closer, he watched her long arm bend and unbend, wrinkling the sweater wrapped around it. She leaned back deeply in the pillows supporting her head and neck, resting her other hand lightly over her stomach. Her heavy eyes were dark and on him as she inhaled, silence except for the sound of her breath and lips, the crackle of the sweet tobacco. Smoke curled like Degas’ skirts. He scooted back to rest on his headboard, only a few inches him outstretched body lay from hers. He reached for the cigarette while looking up at the ceiling. Rustling she slid onto her side, he looked over as her hip rose up and her legs stretched, all the way down. She reached out for the cigarette and with slow movements he handed it to her, their fingers touching skin and paper. She rolled onto her back, completely collected he felt like Velazquez peering through dozens of mirrors. 


Created: Feb 11, 2011

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elbowsquid Document Media