Fishing in Beirut

May 10, 2010

Part 8: Te Quiero (scene 14)

Filed under: Character : Aria, Part 8 : Te Quiero — fishinginbeirut @ 11:44

Aria stood by the water. The day was monkishly still, death-like, very little traffic on the river or the streets. It was Sunday afternoon, two-thirty. She had the strangest feeling something was imminent.
There were no birds, and they often congregated along the bank. There were no tourist cruisers or pleasure boats. Instead what existed was a foreboding buzz, an energy crackle neither obvious nor sweet. She was aware of heaviness all through the muscles of her legs.
She walked along towards Pont Neuf. The water echoed under the bridge as she approached. The lapping was menacing, a child’s nightmare storybook lap. The monstrous stillness was crushing with the urine smell.
She hurried forward. Back out in the air, stopping, she looked across at the Ile de la Cite as it neared the tip. She turned around towards home to get out of this atmosphere.
The flat was empty. The night before Frank had taken her to a gig. She was a little tired, dozy, and fell onto her bed still wearing her shoes. She thought she probably wouldn’t sleep, but just lying might be enough.
An unusual sense of impending persistently remained. Her eyelids fluttered involuntarily. Her mind hovered above, watching her curled form, seeking out the plateau between asleep and awake. She gave a shiver or a start and stretched out her arm.
A tender breeze whistled through the skylight for an instant, but it failed to relieve the static nature of the day. If anything it served only to exacerbate the doldrums. It was a reminder of the absent alternative, a more lively, active world, and turned a spotlight fully on the choking humidity. Aria placed her hand on her stomach and breathed slow.
Her abdomen rose and fell slower and slower. The more she became aware of it, the fuller her breaths became. Maybe peace is only real as a contrast to the lack of it.
In time she fell asleep with her hand still resting there. A part of her was conscious of the lifting motion in her dreams. She dreamt of seeing that LA boy enter a clothes shop, and of running after him in vain. She didn’t catch him, and forgot about it after she woke up.
With Laura and Marie she ate dinner. The three of them around the table as a self-contained whole. There was caesar salad in the middle and bread to be torn off. Aria drank a little wine, still tired but content.
Marie was complimenting the cooking, having only arrived moments before. Laura batted away her praise and told her to eat. Aria wanted to speak of her feelings by the river, but they weren’t so pressing now. There was more of a lull in her mind, a calming hush.
She tore off more bread. It was fresh, warm, broken easily. Given a few hours it would crack and spray shards of crumbs. The chicken was seasoned, the rice light. Nothing tasted in any way different than it should.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: