Thursday, July 10, 2008


Serena knew G before the catastrophe before the trauma that affected them all. Small and wise, her scent like blueberry lavender lingered before and after her arrival and departure. G before the trauma, she used to say, had curls flowing around her face, skin the flavor of sweet ice in summer. G, once upon a time, painted life-size canvases with her toes, using every color in the spectrum, and then some.

Barth always sang. He wondered about G, and never believed Serena's stories about the hair, but he wanted to believe that once upon a time, G also sang. Lyric pastoral stories put to music. So lovely. So perfect. Barth sang his own part of conversations, and otherwise spoke little, it seemed, as a way to maintain a space, a no-place away from the spoken world. He thought about this for a while apparently, until finally encountering the post-catastophe G, whose entire spacial presence confirmed his notion. And he only sang more.

On a particular afternoon, Barth hummed, G sighed, and Serena recorded each detail of the lawn, on which they sat, in front of the house where no one lived. The long folding blades of grass tickled their calves. The color of the house faded with each note that Barth found to express. Serena asked G if she would decide to paint again soon. G turned toward the old tree at the far end of the yard, turned back toward Serena who watched the face with no expression for only an instant before G got up from the grass, and walked straight into the house whose door pushed back with no more than a gentle groan.

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