Wednesday, November 26, 2008

If it has to be cotton, he said, I don’t think I’ll bother.

The woman looked a bit stunned. Who said anything about cotton?

The man, considering her words, blinked. I never suggested anyone had.

Then what are you talking about?

Nothing. He paused. I never talk about anything.

The woman bit her lip, then blinked. Never? she asked.

Rarely, he replied.

The two then joined hands. They walked a great distance together. Then, just as suddenly as they had clasped hands, they released one another. Turning in opposite directions, each began marching away from the other in loud, deliberate steps. I’ll be seeing you, said the woman from over her shoulder.

I’ll eat swarms of the stuff, swarms of it, the man said, also from over his shoulder.

Several weeks pass. Neither the man nor the woman thinks a single thought about the other. Then, suddenly, they run into each other on the street.

What are you doing here? she asks him.

Two-thirds, or maybe a pigeon more.

Irritated, the woman throws up her arms. The boy, tired, lies down at her feet. She shakes her head, steps over his supine frame, and continues down the street.

Were this tale to go on these two would meet several more times, until finally they decide no longer to meet but to instead simply be together at all times. It will not go on, however, so we leave them where they are. A woman, continuing down the street, and a man, once lying at a woman’s feet, but now merely lying on the ground.

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