A curious omission: Part 6
September 15, 2008
Karma is a question of proximity: in small circles everything’s connected. We collude and coincide and converge; a slew of filthy C-words pulling patterns from the mire. Separation is a myth; a conceptual accommodation. The philosophical equivalent to day light savings time: it isn’t real, but it helps us sleep at night. No one stands apart, and no one falls alone…the trick is who you land on.
The girl from The Gap lay against me waiting for forgiveness. I couldn’t feel her flesh, but the warmth and circumstance were gratifying. My first instinct was something foreign and garbled. And wicked. I let it pass. I clawed at my broken rotes for some consolation.
“It’s okay. Not your fault” I said.
It could have been a lie.
Her heat lifted off me. Her face became my moon; angry curls carving a shifting ellipse with their sway. Was I on the ground? Under it?
“How can you say that? We left you like trash” she said, outraged, pushing herself up with one hand.
I didn’t care.
“I don’t care” I said.
That should have ended it, but she had a martyr’s momentum…ten steps to the wrong and gathering pace.
“Well you should care. We could have at least dumped you at a graveyard, or something”.
Tom pushed away his tiring paramour.
“Wait…you knew about his…problem? What the hell is wrong with you…who hangs out with someone they just killed” Tom said.
“I didn’t kill him…he just died. I don’t why know it happens” she said.
Tom surged to his feet (displacing the first girl, who quickly appraised the situation and hurried out the door).
“Bitch, you threw him in a dumpster. You do that to cats you never liked, and hobos you set on fire…not people who “just die” around you. If I didn’t have three warrants I’d call the cops right now”.
Tom was loud, but smiling. Cruelly. The girl from The Gap was bent and crying on the couch beside me. From the blur I suspected he was pacing, but I could only make out his damaged Cheshire grin, and the intolerable of heat of his satisfaction hanging in a black haze. A thoughtless urge built in my chest; a crawling, ancient, thing.
The girl from The Gap clung to me, huddled like a woodlouse in a rotted log. I felt some vague obligation towards her security. I pried open my eyes, pushing back crusted lids with numb fingers, to better consider the situation. One cornea tore free in a red flash; the other cleared sufficiently. Tom was pacing. The black haze was curling in Smokey tendrils around him. Peculiar.
“Let it alone” I said.
My voice had cured into the sort of heavy baritone I’d envied in life: the weary rumble of a serious man. Tom paid no heed to the change in situation.