Fragments – one

The Agreement

Whenever he reached he could feel it. It was in his back and his hip. It hurt and it reminded him of what had happened, of what he had done. He would stretch his arm and there it would be, an angry reminder, as if he needed reminding.

She wore long sleeves mostly, regardless of the weather.

Sometimes when he felt it he would give a short, involuntary groan, but when that happened he would stop himself and make no further noise. It wasn’t something he could talk about. It wasn’t something he was allowed to talk about.

She would complain about how hard it was to find soft cotton clothes and she would often say that her skin was irritated and she would say that she was going to have a bath in her special bath liquid at the end of the day, but apart from that she didn’t say anything.

Neither of them spoke about it. Talking wouldn’t help. They had decided to carry on, without complaint, some years before, and they were used to quietly suffering. Talking would only sharpen the physical consciousness of these sensations and it seemed to them that it would recreate the reality of the event if they acknowledged its historical existence in any way, and so they chose not to. They kept the events as dead as they could. Sleeping a deep but precarious sleep and kept in a quiet chamber where neither sound nor intruding thoughts could penetrate.

It worked for them.


He filled the glass with dirty red from the cask and it was a large glass with a narrow stem which he always felt lent his wine drinking activities a touch of class when he used it and he loosened his collar as he walked to the lounge room and kicked off his shoes as he sat down, sinking into the lounge chair with magazines piled loosely on the edge of the arm, and he leaned back and relaxed his neck, and in one motion he gulped down a third of the glass, and it was good. It tingled the back of his tongue and deadened the area around it in a sweet velvety anaesthetic of grape. He swallowed and put the glass down. He made a sound with his mouth. The sound came from the depths of his thorax, a kind of moan, guttural and relieving and abject. He sighed again and took another swig from the wide-bowled glass with the fragile stem. He breathed out a measured in control breath. A moment passed. He was home.

Published in: on October 17, 2012 at 7:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

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