Fishing in Beirut

February 28, 2010

Part 4: Causality (scene 10)

Filed under: Character : Karen, Part 4 : Causality — fishinginbeirut @ 11:32

Karen and Michel were walking. Michel described the scenery, in English, until she asked him not to. He held her hand instead. They were in Parc de la Villette on a Sunday afternoon.
“There are very huge trees,” said Michel, unable to resist, and she squeezed his hand and he stopped. Someone rolled by on a bike.
Michel went to the bathroom, and came back soon after, slightly hyper and more alert. He rubbed and touched against her.
“Relax,” she said. “Today I want to relax.”
They walked on slowly, and she could feel the strain as he tried to keep his fidgeting to a minimum. Sometimes she wondered whether…but always dismissed it as silly. She didn’t know what she was talking about anyway. She could hear birdsong and distant voices, and then the sound of two bikes passing. A woman called out to a man.
Later they made love, and she stroked his hair as he lay breathing against her. His breath massaged her skin. His day’s energy was spent, and nothing else remained now, save a promised sleep. She put her arms around him, shielding out the world.
“Your English is really good now sweetie. You’ve improved such a lot.”
He murmured something inaudible. They had not made love in his apartment for some time. She relaxed into its feeling.
She knew he was asleep now, the breathing and the weight, and she let his body lie there, a human stone. Her legs were warm and tired.
Sometimes she worried about him. She knew he worried for her. Sometimes she wondered what his life was, and did she actually know him at all. Other times she deemed this ridiculous – a banal conceit, applicable to anyone when in a certain mood. She sighed in warm contentment, her lover’s skin her own.
His behaviour today in the park. Was today the first such occurrence of this, or maybe the fourth or fifth? The nineteenth? Was this a part of their life, unnoticed until now? She struggled to recollect. The change in his mood, the tension and speed. Was she aware of this always, unconsciously?
He coughed and was still once again. She squeezed close her eyes in defence. She must think uninterrupted. A foreboding something flicked through her body. Maybe she’d only created it; brought it on through worry, not discovered a dormant dread. His weight was strong on her chest now.
The tension and speed, the package she’d got. She didn’t know what she was talking about anyway. She rested her cheek on his hair.
Michel woke up and they spoke about nothing. She avoided all questions and doubt. He asked about use of the conditional, and she tried to remember herself. Thinking of these things can drown out your knowledge.
Within an hour he was back asleep. On her breast as before. She slowly pushed him off her, turning on her side and curling inward. The warmth of the bedclothes spread. The conditional is “would”; yes, she’d said it right. Possibility.
Michel began to snore, a bee-like droning hum, and her shoulder now was tickled, by the out-push of his breath. He was sleeping, and she loved him.

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