“Charge for everything”, she said, the lit cigarette in her hand punctuating every word with a sharp jab, as if the words were alive because of that tiny heat source, and without it they would shiver and die out. She was laughing while saying that, and the words had a gurgle of humour behind them.
Crass, unnatural humour.
What is funny about that? I wondered as I watched her walk away, teetering on heels, that she thought were becoming, but which only made her look too big- a gigantic, crass, money-minded woman.
I looked at her, and a series of images flashed in my mind, in a vain attempt to obliterate that imprinted image, of her walking away.
Images of lazy afternoons, siestas, dripping water and soothing words.
Images of warm evenings with extended conversations and sibilant hushes.
Images of peace.
And she was anything but peaceful. Not that the laughter and the proclamations were quiet, but they were nothing compared to the disquietude which was inside of her.
Or so I think. I do not know. I try to give it a name, but it’s not a single channeled force which can be named and labeled and tagged.
It could be her anxiety, and with that frame and that personality, she’s right to be anxious.
Or it could be a deep-seated confidence which takes her every word and gives it a certain twang, so that it seemed to vibrate with a nervous energy. Or it could be sheer hatred of inertia. A desire to be moving at all times, manifested in word, motion and action.
It was so repellent. This strange vibration that she carried around, draped like a cloak over her manly shoulders. But also, charming. In the same way as a hussy is charming in a low cut dress, seen through a drunken haze.
Too obvious, the charm.
And too obvious, the attraction.
I let out the smoke, watched it drift off and mingle into the non-sanctified air around it, and thought about her some more. And thought about respect.
Thought about how hatred is the ultimate tribute you can pay to a person.
Thought about how I wish I could have that barely disguised energy and how jealous it makes me to think of her and her shivering soul, in another’s arms.
About the red of her nails, and of her lips, and the wish to consume the whole of her and make it mine.
About how I wish I could put it simply and say that I love her.
About how I cannot lower her to a level that is oversimplified by just love, and how my hatred for her is all-consuming.