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.

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