Through the air on the flying trapeze

Should he not.

As he read it, he managed a smile. She wasn’t as rubbish at deconstruction as she thought. And she’d always been good at economy, at saying a lot with a minimum of words. At letting the spaces  between them  speak .

Should he.

He wanted to deconstruct too, to play the same game, to turn it into word tennis, the way they always had. But more than that, he wanted to reconstruct. To know for sure what the meaning was beyond each chosen fragment, when he felt his guess might be falling short of her truth.

And to reconstruct them. To put us back together. He would always want that. Which was why.

I forget what he ate that night.

He didn’t want to disrupt the flow, if the flow was what she.

It was impossible to listen to music without.

Dawn pinked the sky behind the cathedral, without the sun showing itself.

I defy you gravity.

Emerging from 5,000 words, S told him that she now understood why he wasn’t all there sometimes. That it was hard to fight your way out of your interior when it was entirely given over to something, even after you had supposedly finished for the day.

Given over to something, yes, but also to someone, he thought. But of course, did not.

The sun was promising an endless summer on the day my mother brought me home to a house made of suburban dreams, two puzzling weeks after my birth.

S was struggling, she was struggling, he was struggling. It was all about the struggle. One of those words that if you say or type it often enough, sounds and looks odd, so much so that the word loses its meaning. He was trying to help her with the struggle struggle struggle, as much as he could. As much as he could, he was trying to help S with hers.

Shouldn’t he just.

On the way home I passed a triceratops. I kid you not. A model one, on the back of a flatbed truck. And a boat, heading for the coast. The Serenity.

Walking through Woolworth’s in 1927.

Funnily enough (it was typical of them) he had been re-reading Saroyan that very week. Together or apart or togetherapart, their lives seemed to run in patterned parallels. Consciously or subconsciously, they then criss-crossed, and the created web – spider-strong and yet gossamer-fragile – allowed them to judge the weight of the other, as each placed a tentative leg upon it. But after all this time, how could it not be so.

As usual, for a period, the sudden tension snapping the silken guy ropes left him disoriented and homeless. It had happened over and over again and although he was braced, he couldn’t avoid the disorientation, the sense of bereavement. It still took time to surface from the black sea, to regain something like an even keel, to settle on a direction not at odds with the prevailing wind.

For him it was the tawny owls. Their hooting throughout the night, right up to the break of dawn. A chill sound, a mournful one, without much comfort, at present. In the past, a thrill, raw and visceral. Then he had imagined them metamorphosed, a pairing of Strix aluco calling to each other across the blackness, hunting and coming home. He wasn’t sure which tree they lived in, but it was close to the house, very close. Twice he had gone out at night to try and pinpoint it, but as soon as he emerged, as soon as they sensed movement, the hooting ceased. Wise old owls.

She undamned him. She always had, she always would.


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