Fishing in Beirut

February 9, 2010

Part 3: Blue, July – Sept 2002 (scene 9)

Filed under: Character : Aria, Part 3 : Blue — fishinginbeirut @ 10:11

Aria spoke to Laura on the phone. Her mother would not be happy with the expense. San Jose to Paris costs a fair amount per minute, but friendship is important, money somewhat less. Laura had recently met a guy called Lukas, and cooed down the phone as Aria just laughed. He was a writer.
“So when do you think it will be possible?” Laura asked.
“Soon,” said Aria. “Soon. I think maybe a few months, or a little longer.”
“That’s cool. I’ll be here.”
Aria twirled the phone cord, and felt happy and sad at once. She knew that she was mending, but memories remained. Would they always? She ran her foot along the kitchen floor, moving back and forth, speaking low to Laura, who’d never let her down. Tears welled. She cried and laughed while talking, so good to hear this voice, the promise of the future all sweet and almost real. They laughed like little kids. The cat appeared beside her, blinking and relaxed. It yawned its peaceful greeting, the way it always did. Love circled.
“So tell me how you’re feeling – I really want to know.”
Aria told her, was not ashamed with Laura, did not feel wrong or dirty, or sickened by her past. Strength is unquantifiable. Light played on the lino, engulfing the cat as the day wound on, and they talked without remission, so much to hear and tell. Her mother came back, wasn’t angry at all really, and let them keep on talking, to see her daughter smile again.
Aria felt so happy. So tingling, shining, moving happy, talking to her best friend on another continent. Already this moment was crystallising, being stored deep somewhere warm, because she knew while in it how truly great it was. She was remembering and experiencing at once. She felt the cuffs of her sweater against her wrists, paid attention to this while talking, and noticed her body growing warmer, more relaxed. A stiffness seemed to melt. She moved her neck and shoulders, rotated it’s called, and placed full awareness on her cheek against the phone. The fridge touched her elbow.
Laura said something in French. Aria was momentarily confused, but then Laura explained that some guy was asking how much longer she was going to be. Aria tried to imagine the view from a Parisian payphone standing in her kitchen, west of San Jose. She was sure image and reality didn’t match.
“Anyway,” said Laura, “ I won’t stay too much longer. Now there’s an old woman behind that guy who was hassling me. I’m causing a jam.”
Aria heard the sound of other voices. They said their goodbyes to one another, ending with a promise to be together soon. Aria listened to the line going dead before she herself hung up. The city of Paris shrunk into nothingness, her portal having closed, the living breathing difference no longer hers to hear. She stood silent in America.
An empty cereal packet lay on the counter, with a smiling cartoon character holding out a spoon. She ate this stuff for comfort, and the cat played with the box. Aria stayed inert, the day pulsing around, and felt a little tickle, deep behind her nose. One time they’d made her cut her toenails, when they were too long. We don’t shoot nails and shit they’d said. She heard a bird through an open window, but not from the kitchen; from a window open somewhere in the daytime rhythm house. She saw dust peeping out under the fridge.
The cat rolled on his back, shimmied across the lino, and scratched playfully at her jeans in his upside down position. His belly was soft and exposed. With his twitching unconscious whiskers, and carefully sheathed claws, his love and trust were neutral – clear and evident. She watched in slow affection. Truth is both big and everyday, profound and commonplace, and sunlight on a surface is as pure as burning hope. To travel, to care, to love and to be loved, to nurture one another in the darkness and the pain. Things are hardest at the point of desire.


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