65 :: imperfect recess ::
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Janine stares up at the ceiling. Thinks arrgh. Her hair lies upon her face in sweaty strands. There's no AC in Ingrid's place, and the summer humidity is still hanging on. She presses her shoulders into the bed and arches her back, channels the stretch down her legs, unclenches her toes. She flings her arm out to the side and feels around on Ingrid's bedside table until her fingers touch a half-empty packet of Parliaments. The slightest tick of crinkling cellophane. She fumbles it into her mouth, needs a light, has to prop herself up on her side to find fire in the jumble of bedside table crap: clock, pottery dish full of tangled jewelry, another one full of loose coins, books, tube of jelly. Packet of matches. Praise Jesus.
She flicks the spent match into a dark corner of the room. Right now, Ingrid is talking on the phone to Elsa, in Germany. Janine can hear Ingrid speaking, but the closed bathroom door shaves down the shape of the words, reduces them to punctuation. There will be something like this: ...-..--...---, and then there will be a pause, while Ingrid listens for words from far away.
Janine and Ingrid have spent the night together three times in the last few weeks. She suspects that Ingrid hasn't told Elsa this. Janine has not asked her about it; she figures it is none of her business. But Janine does not like the way Ingrid retreats into the bathroom in order to have these conversations. This is not the first time.
Fuck, she doesn't even like it that Ingrid answers the phone. Ten minutes ago Janine had a finger gripped inside her and a tongue moving between her legs. Her exhalations had swelled into tiny moans; utterances meaning keep going, do more, yes. In essence they had said continue. Ingrid had obliged. This cycle had grown tight, the line between action and response had begun to waver and blur, two identities had begun to tangle together right here, on these sweat-damp sheets. Then: phone. Ingrid leapt back, pulled out. Outside forces snapped her back into the outline of her own form. Body as monad.
NNn, Janine had protested. Let it go.
No, I can't, said Ingrid. It might be Elsa. She felt around in the bedclothes, locating the ringing phone in some tangle. The phone was in the bed with us the whole time, Janine thought. Then Ingrid was off to the bathroom without so much as a backwards look. What the fuck?
She stares at the cigarette package, then flings it away, grabs one of the books off of the table. Pablo Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. She rifles through the pages impatiently, looking for despair: she is in no mood for a love poem right now. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. / Write for example, 'The night is shattered / and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'
The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.
Shattered night. Janine feels like a heap of disconnections, incomplete clusters. And her lover sits in the bathroom and speaks to Germany.
Further Reading ::
Information Prose : A Manifesto In 47 Points ::
A manifesto, outlining some of the aesthetic goals behind Imaginary Year, can now be read here.