|A Bride of Enderby (standard:romance, 863 words)|
|Author: Cyrano||Added: Dec 07 2007||Views/Reads: 1864/972||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Love is like bananas, when it goes bad it's tossed away...|
A Bride of Enderby I sit across from the stranger, my legs dangling over the ledge of the cliff, while she stands naked, staring out toward the ocean's horizon, her clothes piled neatly at her feet. Between us, ten feet of air, and ten thousand differences about love and life and living. There's no life-light in her eyes, just emptiness; like the emptiness you see in the eyes of animals held in cages. ‘Look,' I say, stating the obvious, ‘just so you know, life is not intended to answer everything we don't understand.' She offers no intelligible response, no sign that she even heard me, no movement but for her fingernails continually scraping blood from her thigh. It's just the two of us beneath a snowball clouded sky and a grassy sea. She makes the slightest of movement, a flutter of hesitation a young gull makes the second before its first venture into the sky. It prompts me, nervously, to state another point of view. ‘I'm much older than you, by what, forty years I reckon, and I've stood at this same place. I think God designed cliffs for people like you and me to get away from cross streets, traffic lights, neighbours, and the kinds of day where at anytime, and for no reason, we might feel a sense of terror. I came here to find my life, you come to end it, right?' My words fail to bridge the distance between us; this space is a deep universe where love has come to die. This shoreline is where I've chosen to settle and live out my life. It's a simplistic lifestyle, purposely designed to get away from the feeling of uncertainty that occasionally grabs at me, as though I'm still a child or the man bereft of love. I look at the clothes by her feet, folded with precision, topped with panties and bra and a pair of glossy, high-heeled shoes. I don't know why but Masefield's poem comes to mind, “Dunno about Life – it's jest a tramp alone from waking time to doss. Dunno about death – it's jest a quiet stone all over wi' moss.” It's impossible to imagine what the stranger is thinking or what her perspectives are, standing precariously, as she is, between life and death. I could tell her that perceptions change on reaching differing heights, that when I was three feet everything seemed of the same magnitude: merry-go-rounds, rice pudding, Christmas, Bambi, the whole world in fact. By the time I was four feet I learned not to save the all best things till last, understanding that ice cream melts faster in the summer. I'd reached another height when I realised that beaches, rocks, and crabs are a far cry from the grocer sprinkling salt in front of his shop on Baker Street during the terribly serious winter weekends. Different perspectives have engrained themselves into my thinking, like stab wounds. Perspectives changed because of books, divorce, death, war, love, in fact a mushroom cloud of happenings and events, many of which never passed me by. Some important enough that on one day in the world I stood where she now stands... called by the Beach Goddess. Do not think of me kindly because I don't want this woman to leap to her death. Sure enough, I don't. But compassion is not the reason, for mine is hackneyed and used up. If she should leap from this rock I'll be dealing with the intrusion of police, morbid sightseers, and then, God forbid, the family mourners. I'd have a week of people coming to see the rock from which she leapt, crying, leaving flowers, and screaming how they didn't know things were so bad for her and perhaps the only absentee, in this Shakespearian tragedy, a fanciful young man. I'm so happy living here that it's hard to control my dissatisfaction at the intrusion of her naked presence. Couldn't she go through this hateful stuff somewhere else? I can't fathom why she'd want to contaminate the frothy excitement below with the red of her anguish. Does she not know that her chosen demise won't get a mention in the Click here to read the rest of this story (25 more lines)
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