A Child’s Heart In A Woman’s Body

Archive Fiction

“Do your thing,” he said, when she said she needed to do something.

All of a sudden she did not know what she “needed” to do. She was thinking there was some email she needed to send regarding something she had not done, but she was confused.

She wanted to talk to him and ask if he felt anything unusual had happened. People were disinclined to say that anything unusual had happened.

“Did you buy this broom?” he asked.

“I did” she said. As he swept the debris from the wood floor into the dust pan, she saw for the first time that the broom’s fibers were bright pink. This struck her as hopeful.

A diffuse light was flooding the loft, and it seemed important that nobody say anything impractical.

He went to the sink.

“You’re doing the dishes again,” she said, smiling.

“I am.”

She decided to do a load of laundry, just to be productive. She glanced at a key-chain on the shelf with a frowning Che Guevara, and wanted to start an argument about Che Guevara, but they weren’t even his keys. Nor hers. But somehow because of the Che Guevara key-chain she became convinced that she should be performing some kind of labor.

“I’m going to do some laundry,” she said.

And suddenly she wondered whether she was real. Where was she? Whose loft was this? Why couldn’t she enter her own life? It was like trying to step onto a moving train. Landscapes, people, events passed her by but she could not stop the train, get off, and say: “Here.”

Instead she was always moving. So was everybody else. Sometimes people focused on one another a bit. But everybody understood that they were all in some kind of aquarium.

“I want you to come with me to the laundry room,” she said.

He was looking out the window.

“I love when the birds do that,” he said.

She looked and saw two teams of birds in the sky over the rooftops doing what looked like a square dance in the sky. Flying through one another, just changing sides.

“They’re weaving,” she said.

It was hard work, being so nonchalant. She wanted him to stay but it was better that he had to go, since everything had to make sense.

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