Fishing in Beirut

April 17, 2010

Part 7: Berlin, July 2001 (scene 4)

Filed under: Character : Karen, Part 7 : Berlin — fishinginbeirut @ 07:49

Karen closed her eyes and thought about sleeping. Thinking about it makes it hard to bring it on. She could hear her mother in the next room, not settling down yet, opening drawers and presses. The spirit of her one year dead husband might never let her rest.
From the street outside someone bleeped-on a car alarm. Karen heard whoever trudging up a drive and some steps. Porch door opened, hall door, and then both closed, re-ushering silence. She guessed it was Jackie or Bill, some neighbour working late.
This summer night she had decided to go to bed early. It was a way of taking stock of her life and of feeling like a child. Lying on her back with the top window open, she listened to laughter and traffic, the occasional intermittent sounds of the American night. Oak Park in Chicago Illinois in the house she was born.
Bill or Jackie came back out, and called to someone, and she knew it was Bill. She picked up strains of conversation about the Bears and how they sucked. Beer cans were popped in the warmth of the soft July evening, the men standing on the pavement, probably longing to raise the hood of the car and check the sparks and stuff worked. Karen lay in bed and was awoken to memory.
She thought of her father – how quick he’d be out to join them, ignoring the calls of her mother and barrelling down the stairs. He’d mosey on over and say My God and it’s a wonderful evening.
She turned on her side to invite a different subject, leaving her father and the boys by re-positioning herself. Her mother closed a drawer and then opened it again or a different one.
Karen sat up. She crossed her legs yoga-like, cupping her hands and letting the thumbs lightly touch.
Bill’s companion said loudly “I reckon I’d a caught that.” She breathed deeply to the count of ten, the air filling her lungs and expanding the abdomen. It was easier to think less when the rate of the breathing was slowed.
A motorbike roared past, swallowing Bill’s conversation, and leaving a silence after it was gone. Had the two men been startled by its suddenness? Momentarily they resumed again, but it was only to say goodnight, the violent sound having killed the encounter unconsciously. Karen lay back down and this prompted her to sleep.


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