Tuesday, March 31, 2009


She placed the keys in the bowl on the kitchen bench. The place for keys. Everything in it's place Neat stale air. She breathed. There was a time when she would have opened the window, but she had lost that battle to a sudden gust of wind and a broken glass. She turned the air conditioning up a notch thinking about open faced helmets, drops of rain hitting her eyeballs, the scent of night jasmine. Breathing in static dryness and artificial chill.

She could smell him on her.

She moved through the loungeroom and there was evidence of her passing, her bag dropped to the ground and forgotten in an instant, her helmet perched on the table, her gloves on the couch The jacket draped over the bench framing the kitchenette. It wa a regular complaint, her shedding. There were pieces of her everywhere, abandoned, unnoticed even at his place there would be something, old bus tickets fallen from her bag, a pen that she had used to write his home phone number down. The envalope on which she had written his number. (She should have folded it back into her pocket or the zip pocket of her bag) A tampon wrapped in toilet paper and secreted in the very bottm of this kitchen bin. Her mark on his place. Her address, glaring from the window of the envalope dropped onto the floor beside his bed. Pieces of herself.

She took her knickers off and held them in her hands staring at the crotch, expecting blood. She had a sudden flash of that first time in high school and almost laughed. This new first thing. Despite the last days of her period, despite the idea of something done for the first time, it had not drawn blood. No one hurt then, which was a relief.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


The bike was all rust. Rust spreading like algae on the tank. Rust on the mirrors and on the handlebars. Thick dusty doilies of it. The battery would be worse than flat, dead. Her dead motorcycle. She squeezed the car in next to it, illuminating it with her headlights and she sat like that engine off, the shadow of it stretching out across the road. She felt it in her body, suddenly, the lean of a corner, that particular ache in her forearms from holding the throttle at its furthest extension for hours, days. All the open road. She remembered a moment when the sunset took her by surprise and she had to pull over, flip her visor up and breathe in the change of season. Just an ordinary day but this moment bedded down in memory like it was her times tables or a recipe for pancakes.

She turned off the headlights and the motorcycle retreated into darkness. She could see the vague outline of it but it might be anything.

The inside of the car was safe and warm and ordinary. She sat in it for what felt like a long time. She could smell the boy on her. Saliva. His spit on her face and her neck and her breasts. She would have to have a shower before bed. Bed. And the glimmer of dawn beginning to touch the tops of cars, the faint outline of her own, decaying bike.

She breathed in the chemical car smell and watched the morning rising over her disused motorcycle.

She caught a glimpse of herself in the rear view mirror, dry-eyed but with an ache that was a fissure, irreparably large.

She slipped the keys from the ignition and she eased herself out of her car. Her husband's car. He had chosen it, paid for it, driven it home. His car then. She locked it and with dawn in her mouth tasting slightly metallic, she walked into the lobby and took the lift to the eighth floor to her own flat, home, only not it felt like somewhere else.