Saturday, March 19, 2005

A dream story from my romantic youth

_____The sky was very gray the morning Marc woke to discover treachery. Looking out the French window (which was so only in its dimensions, as if before him opened an empty door, and a battered frame of few dusty panes) Marc noticed a sky and horizon not deeply dark--as on a moonless night-- but with a cloud ceiling so low as to appear ominous. The still sleeping village below, strewn on the slopes to the bay, like so many pale cubes with burgundy lids on top each one, had blended into an almost featureless background-- Marbella as seen through lawyers of gauze--wooded hills off toward the left, as the bay rounded out again to sea, locking jigsaw-wise with the peninsulita, a woodsy crag upon which a few fisher folk had chiseled and built a few white-washed, red-tiled cottages.

_____"I'm cold," he thought, while throughout the valley, flowing outward, downward to the bay, there was a chill wind blowing, slightly at first, then steadily stronger. Like a David, marble in the moonlight, bare and muscled with not a whit of clothing, he stood in the room. Marc gazed out the tall frame, a boundary seeming to lack definition without its panes, holding on to the sides, and stared out to the quicksilver waters, and to the gray and black clouds so thick, so low, slowly moving in, steadily gathering.
_____He turned his back to the open window, a long and low window whose sill almost leveled with the varnished floor, rather like a balcony, then cast a sweeping gaze at the room. To his right, there were two more of the same windows. The glass in these also had been knocked out long ago, he saw, for the sills were dirty with dust and gray fragments. Some shards of glass reflected silver light from the ridges, slots, and corners there. The walls were of a lusterless creamy tone, dull white where the plaster had cracked and fallen away, and everywhere else, simply bare.
_____Letting his arms fall to his sides, he breathed a long sigh, walked toward the centre of the room, and stopped before a solitary cot. This had been set by a small and ancient wood table, the kind you set your glass of water on, before resting on the cot to read your novel, until you tire of reading, shut the book, and turn out the light.
_____But there was no lamp on the table, no book by the non-existent lamp, and the glass was empty. The cot was mere mattress, and an old woolen blanket of a blue and green checkered pattern, carelessly left thrown aside, drooping over the edge of the cot to the dirty wooden floorboards.
_____Seeing all this in a glance, the youth turned around, and from a wobbly-legged, worm-eaten chair, took a baggy pair of long underwear--worn, but the whitest thing in the room-- and slowly began, first right leg, and left, to pull them on. As he did this, he listlessly stared out each of the two windows to his right. He'd been standing in front of one of them; the other was the only window with the panes still in place-- one stood above the other, and this one was cracked. Both were still in place and dusty. On the chair, there remained a white tee shirt and a red plaid flannel shirt. Draped over the back were his blue jeans and thick white socks. Under the cot, half exposing their dulled and dirty snouts, were a worn pair of blue suede running shoes.
_____When he had put on his underclothes, jeans, shirt, socks, and shoes, he arose from the cot, walked again to the open window, and stood there, one hand on each side of the frame. He stared out to sea, to the horizon barely discernable from the clouded sky.
_____Behind him, he heard a door open. He turned to face it.
_____Mara stood on the threshold. He'd met her not more than three months before, on the great gray flagstones of the Patio de Letras, where the reddish-orange and black bubble-eyed Moor carp chased miniscule prey in gentle doodled paths of mercuric darkness in the centre of a magic rectangular pool. On one of the bulletin boards of the Centr?l he'd posted a notice offering an exchange of English for Catal?n. Mara had answered, one rainy night, with a telephone call to the house on Calle del Conde. When he first heard her voice, he knew that they would love each other in this dreams.
_____She looked perturbed, strangely serene. Entering the room, she tucked her blouse in her jeans, all the while fixing him with a stare he could not discern. He noticed that over each tungsten gray iris, her lashes fluttered a bit too fest, her thin brows furrowed slightly. Without taking her gaze from his eyes, she stepped over the cot, confronting him. The clasped each other's hands, observing each other's eyes, searching minutely each feature of the other's face.
_____Now he felt the breeze again, cool but stronger. It made both of them tremble. He felt sad, very empty, cold and empty. Bending ever so slightly, still holding her hands between their chests, he lightly kissed her on the lips, pink chapped lips, slightly open and loose, slightly quivering. The evenly rhythmic churning of the waves seemed less distant.
_____They kissed. Tentatively at first, then stretching out their arms around each other's waists, surrounding, feeling, grasping tightly, the kiss intensified tighter, tongues reaching outward, inward, retreating, caressing, probing, writhing, dancing in the hot wet arena of red flesh carpet and ivory dolmen, dancing in electrolyte of saliva, a bath of tantalizing ecstasy, where there ignited of themselves tingling currents of excitement. The kiss was hot and bright in the darkness of their joined selves, wet and dark in the light of their desperate joy.

_____Then a burst of cold wind blasted into the room, whipping the blanket off the cot, knocking the glass to the hardwood floor. The glass hit the planks, cracked, and rolled toward the two youths, stopping but still rocking slightly, jagged edge up.
_____Marc turned to look upon the town. Then, in sudden shock, he felt the chill through his spine as his eyes locked onto the scene below.
_____The dark waters of the bay no longer turbulently pounded against the sea wall, but rolled over the narrow streets, covering the docks, the fishing village, the marketplace, and the rest of the town, still the water leveled with the red tiled roofs. The frothing waters reached the walls of the house where Mara and Marc stood, pounding against the stone walls below the very window where they stood together.
_____He had released her, had turned to stand at the open window, one foot up on the sill, dumb, mouth open uncomprehendingly, to stare at the murkiness devouring the town.
_____He felt a firm hand on his shoulder, the other on his waist, her chin on his right shoulder. Suddenly she was pushing him! His heart rose to his throat as he lurched forward, grasping tightly to the window frame, detaining himself precariously over falling bits of plaster, paint, and pigeon droppings. The debris vanished in the turbulent, voracious waters below.
_____Regaining his balance, Marc stepped back, wheeling himself to face Mara. She stood rigidly, facing him, pale and frightened.
_____But neither of the lovers said a word. Even the roar of the floodwaters reverberated through their thoughts, becoming as a universal mind-static. His heart fired a hot staccato. The nearness of the salty death brought a strong chill to his throat, which now rasped as he breathed.
_____Behind Marc frothed the black waters, the rising flood, the swelling eddies and currents, sucking whirlpools, spinning boats, carts, and debris. The wind blew fiercely, while the sky darkened to share the sea's obscurity.


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