– Ha-ha-ha! – I laugh, even with sadness. – It’s funny how the “magic word” was one of the few things I learned with my parents.
– Funny, indeed, Dante... – Lucy replies, still sitting on the couch, completely apathetic. – Yeah... you know, I have to use the restroom. Can you wait a sec?
– Gosh, of course, Lucy. Go. – Weird, like she hasn’t made any comments during the whole story. – Make yourself at home. Feel free. – After all, she wanted so bad to hear it.
– Excuse me.
Mechanically, she walks to the hall, which was weakly illuminated by the metallic sunset light coming from the top of the buildings. The somber side of the objects saddened the environment at this secret time of the day when such things awaken. Shadows crawl longer. Slowly, she gets to the restroom, barely guided by sound alone. Even slower, she opens the door like if it were the weak force of wind pushing it. She shuts it. Then, she locks it, not before looking away from her own reflection on the mirror. Instead of squatting on the toilet, she does it on the floor, holds her trembling knees and cries. She cries. Cries. And cries...
Muffled by her tightly packed body, her shrill moans are still echoed by the bathroom wall tiles. Lucy is aware, but can’t hold the piercing heartsickness that embraces her chest and incessantly robs her of all her energy. She was powerless, and there was nothing she could do to alleviate her pain, she couldn’t shout, she couldn’t show she had been hit, knocked out, and that she fully regretted having asked for it. There, by herself, she could only endeavor such misery.
And how hard that was to her.
“What an idiot I am! Who do I think I am? I can’t hardly be mad at him for not letting me know all that! How can I act normal and demand that from him when his life wasn’t normal?! I’m an idiot! We’ve known each other for three years, and what do we know about each other?! How can I say I know him?! How could I say that I loved a man I hardly knew until today?!”
She holds herself tighter and further waters her forearms.
“But I did love him...”
Three years ago.
Lucy played the piano and sang every Friday at a famous bar nearby Roosevelt Square in São Paulo. My sacred nights peaked right there, among the audience of her music. I always went to that place and got out with a different girl, under the night lights of that show house. But I couldn’t avoid staring at that blonde, blue-eyed girl—yes, I do know the cliché, but mind your own business—who always sang eyes-closed even if it were over her partner singer’s shoulders on that night.
Holy shit! Was she phenomenal!
I didn’t talk to her because I liked her music so much. I didn’t want to interrupt her. Even when my will faltered due to a new dress, her eye shadows, or a new song in her repertoire, even when the straightness of my intentions of having her to myself almost drowned my lungs in the airs of obsession, I never did it. Perhaps a full year went by like that.
In the meantime, however, my eyes always followed her when she left the place... with somebody else.
There are only two types of people in this world: the ones who dance to the music and the ones who make music. That was one of the theories I created while I heard her sing, from the bar stool.
I was never good with musical instruments, so I used dance as a way to meet women.
And I can’t complain about it...
The end justifying the means, always.
If I played any instrument, women would flock to me, like if music gave men a Midas touch. You are the prize, you are the object, the fantasy, the dream, utopia itself. You’re not part of reality. With dance, however, you’re at the same level—the ground—in the jungle. And one has to hunt to get dinner, inanition being the alternative. I never allowed myself to starve, less being hungry. I had to be in a constant satisfaction mode, every day, hour, minute and second of my life. I danced, yes. I followed somebody else’s music. But what my body did was my responsibility, alone. A musician’s weakness is his own strength. He makes so much noise while he “works”, that it allows me to work or reveal my intentions straight into my target’s ears.
But never with the singer, for she distanced herself from everyone, precisely by reaching out to everyone. She reached out to all in general, but to no one specifically. In everybody’s eyes, she wasn’t in anybody’s eyes.
For months, we exchanged written notes. Like the old and forgotten art of letters and the supremely ignored handwriting. I pretended I asked her to sing a song, and she pretended she asked me for some water. We playfully used paper napkins, business cards I got from other women, or even postcards that used to be placed in the restrooms. However, I knew inside me that this was a coward game, played just for a cause.
I knew who I was talking to—she didn’t.
Lucy unwillingly laughed on stage at the mic, and I was to blame. She looked for me among the audience, but my disguise was never broken. Even so, she happily smiled. With time, you learn the key to make a woman laugh. You understand the pattern. And the way she dresses, does her hair, the way she bites her nails or how she gets embarrassed by silence or by the number of times she touches her elbow... all this is part of an equation for human behavior, and if you’re good at math, you can deduct a good result from it. Of course, it’s hard to miss your target with the classics.
Letters... the so-called forgotten art.
Of course, this is a theory that holds true to anyone.
She was the only person I knew that I didn’t take to bed... immediately; or that I had time to get to know, which didn’t happen that often anyway. Both.
That was different.
There was a certain sacredness, divinity, an aura that couldn’t be broken in my subconscious making me to flirt with death without ever accepting or embracing it. It was as if the only way for her to survive in my mind was for her to be a journey rather a destination—a constant horizon, that is. A constant horizon on a round earth.
But there was a reason.
Lucy opens her eyes on the bathroom floor, still holding her knees. The tips of her hair are darkened and soaked by tears that flow down her arms. Each falling teardrop robs her one year of her life, be it from her future or her memory. She feels heavy, cloistered by those wall tiles, but she fights to get out of that position. “I deserved it,” she echoes to herself.
– But how would I have guessed? Wasn’t he the one who sent me the handwritten notes? Of course he was!... But they had something else... something else terrible...
After some time ignoring the noises coming from the bathroom, recovering my awareness before I fell asleep, I stand up and head to the bathroom. I lean my ear towards the door and ask:
– Is everything fine there, Lucy?
– Y-yes. Yes, it is, Dante. Look, can I take a shower? I’m kind of messy from yesterday...
So much hesitation in her voice... She’s too quiet, calm, and brief. Something’s not right. Lucy heard my story and made no comments. She can barely watch movie trailers without saying anything. And she almost begged me to tell her everything. Something’s really wrong.
– Of course you can. – But I don’t know what to do. – Your towel may be still there, in the closet or somewhere else.
“Did he save it? For all this years? How can this be? He should have thrown it out long ago! Only if... if... Could it be he still has feelings for me?” Lucy thinks while seriously and deeply staring at the wooden shelf. She hesitates to open it, mulling over its contents. A few seconds go by until she finally opens it.
And there it is.
Lucy grabs the towel, and squeezes it with her hands and against her face. She feels the softness and smell that it still preserves. A perfume of nostalgia invades her nostrils, like a gift. Past life sensations come back like in a waterfall. She soon notes: “it’s one that Dante sewed himself. A gift.”
– It’s true. He knows how to sew...
“Dante knew the art of sewing because of his work as a coroner, otherwise he would never have learned it. And it’s funny that he made me this present. I never understood how he could bring ‘his work’ home and turn it into something else with such apparent easiness. The atmosphere, the mood, the coldness of his workplace... How can you even come back home as your same self? But he could, somehow. Dante could.”
A cloudy image of Dante wearing a mask, gloves and white scrubs appeared in Lucy’s mind. He sewed a corpse during an autopsy. Piercing the pallid and lifeless skin with a thin needle. He sewed death like an artist, like a surgeon dealing with life itself. He was closing that last envelope of a being, that body, that face which, even if it had carried life for its whole existence, was ultimately a biological coffin to all of us. Better yet, a chrysalis, a heavy diving suit.
To open the body with a scalpel was akin to freeing the soul. Like in Greek, where psyche means both soul and butterfly, the celestial relation and destiny of all ethereal entities were clear. The body is just a cocoon. Lucy always remembered this comparison that Dante once made. “How can he think such things in such an environment?” There was even another of his comments, which Lucy didn’t know whether she liked it or feared. But she remembers it really well. One day, Dante called her attention to how people gave importance to Christ’s cross. And the cross was made of wood, an inanimate material which both pagans and idolaters worshiped throughout history. Christ himself wasn’t the cross, he meant totally the opposite. Y. Yes, when Dante cut the people recently sent to the great beyond, he cut them as per the protocol: with a Y in the trunk of them all. His comment was that he felt like a priest, being able to “sanctify” the dead with the true mark of Christ.
The towel on her hands rescues her back to reality, and she sees the “Christ’s mark” in one of its corners. Its scent still provokes more than just sensations. Nostalgia. She can feel the delicate strands with her fingertips. Each twist, each knot, each lace. Everything. Then, she turns the towel and sees, after many years, the kind of drawing Dante sewed for her as a present.
A bride and a corpse.
Her and him, stitched together by a line.
A brief smile comes to her face.
Lucy gets in the shower and tries to wash away her thoughts. Every drop falling on her body takes away one issue. Those liquid interrogations seem to Lucy as micro mirrors. She hears the questions from other eyes, other voices, other entities, but still from her face. “Why can’t things be any simpler?” was the first naïve though she could think, rapidly washed away by the shower. She remembered one other Dante’s eccentric theories. It was about human beings unity. It was ironic to him how humans could only share a sense of unity with someone else when inside their mother’s womb. That is, we could only be together with somebody else if we were part of that somebody else before being born. We actually live—after being born—without ever experiencing such feeling. In fact, we only live because we have failed in our unity, and then we try for the rest of our lives to get together again with another being. To be born was always a moment of separation. To be born was always to be condemned to solitude. To be born was always our indeterminate punishment in the illusion of one day unifying with another being.
Lucy looks once again to the sewing in her towel.
In the living room, Lucy’s cellphone rings. I’m almost asleep. I didn’t fucking want to pick that call. But it didn’t stop ringing. Damn cellphone! I reached Lucy’s purse to pick it and tell the person calling, whoever that was, that Lucy wasn’t available, but it wasn’t a call. Weird. It’s a calendar reminder:
“Be brave and tell him!”
– “Brave”? To tell what? And who’s “him”? Me?
In a reflex, I look to the bathroom from where the shower noise and steam—through the door slits—are still coming out.
Some images from the past flash on my mind.
– She was really strange, yesterday... or could it be that since... Another image.
Lucy and I started hanging out after many of her presentations, which for months I watched. As she sang, many lights were turned in her direction, and it was always hard for her to see the audience. But, according to her, even if she instinctively looked for the author of “letters”, she always strived to forget about it so she didn’t break the atmosphere of mystery we built for so long which, however, was fated to be destroyed from the time it began.
She didn’t recognize me.
Our first date was almost blind, since only I knew her identity. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant.
Italy always instigates first-date romance whiles feeding both sides well, unlike the overstated and world-hunger-promoting Parisian cuisine. The place had all those red-and-white plaid tablecloths they call decoration. The only thing missing were the fucking violins. That day the food was exceptionally better than usual, and the wine was even better, despite she didn’t drink any. She ordered a watermelon juice, which I thought was sort of exotic, both because she didn’t made me company in the alcohol and romantic atmosphere and also for the simple fact that watermelon is 90% water. She could rather have ordered just water. Who the hell orders watermelon juice? But she was that kind of person. Those ten percent made all the difference. Back then, those were the things I worried about.
However, it didn’t take long for us to confirm our affinity.
I had never thought I was so funny. It looked like I was a comedian, given Lucy’s many laughs and her unique way of doing it. It was a beautiful—but loud—laughter. Many times the restaurant stopped whatever they were doing, while she covered her mouth with her hand. Once, even the sound of a glass shattering was muffled by her laughter. Such was her happiness by then. I, existentially disconnected, laughed more at the whole situation than because of the things she said, even though she proved to be intelligent. Which is something unusual in those who laugh at anything, be them men or women.
We chatted about arts, movies and books, my favorite subject. If you are not somebody’s type, you can at least make yourself interesting. Thus, you just have to have some culture, or to pretend really well that you do. For that, you need to know some classics, and that’s exactly what I did. It was part of a process, a technique created along years of experience. You had to quote Dostoevsky at some point, even if just to impress her, regardless of whether she had read it—and I could very well had not, as well. After all, nobody reads it; maybe just, perhaps, Memoirs from Underground, the short one. Like if the short one made up for the thick bricks he wrote. Of course, during some juvenile and laidback moment, somebody would quote The Little Prince and I would bring an adult version of the story and would say a phrase or two from that book. That never failed.
And like that, among laughter and sighs of admiration, our distance is shortened.
She holds my hand, I pull it back. The surprise touch unsettled me for the first time, since we started dinner. It was like an electrostatic shock early in the morning. My face was motionless, though. I pulled my hand back like if it were the most natural thing in this world, and reached out for the wine glass to have some more. Totally justifiable. But that was unusual—to me, at least. Clearly, women take the initiatives, but subtle ones. Immediately holding hands? That would take months of intimacy, minimum. After all, to that point I—despite having had all the intercourses I did—had never held a woman’s hand. Hands were sacred. A hand was more intimate than getting naked, than having sex, than... don’t know what else. In brief, to me, the palm of a hand was more sensitive than the eye itself. This incident, however, didn’t stop her and she did it again, twice. I believe we built so much intimacy with our letters that the event became plausible.
And suddenly, I conceded.
Then, a kiss.
I don’t know why, but kisses never excited me much. Maybe because I was too rational and didn’t adapt to human culture that well. I always gave more importance to sex, intercourse, something any animal and living thing—from the unicellular to the complex—knew. After all, I’m a simple guy. But it had to be done, which doesn’t mean I was bad at it, much to the contrary. It was all about technique plus the theory of the evolution of the species... You need a type of kiss for every woman, for every psyche, and another one to Lucy, only. That softness, those red lips, the profane adoration for the other one’s body, for the tone of her voice, for the other’s word—that thing surprised me in such a way that I was astonished and, before I could note, I was already aroused.
My hands lower and their palms touch her body. The nervous touch of my hand was like an immediate neuronal sensation. That brief initial moment infected my nervous system, from my spine to all the vertices of my whole body. However, an elbow hit my hand at the last moment. I decide to raise it, but a shoulder suddenly hits it.
Two weeks. Two months. And I think:
“Will we ever have sex?!”
– Lucy, it’s been two months... what gives?
My hands tremble like an abstinent addict’s.
– Dante, look... I haven’t told you, but... I need to tell you, now.
My legs vibrate like a jackhammer.
– What is it, Lucy? – Cold sweat flows down my forehead. “You can tell me anything, let’s just have sex.”
– I’m a Mormon, Dante. We don’t make love before we get married.
– Oh, is that all? – My heart finally finds some calmness.
– So let’s get married...
Still in the living room, I touch the cellphone to turn off the notification that reads:
“Be brave and tell him!”
Our wedding photo shows up on the screen, catching me by surprise. I’m wearing black, she’s in white, but everything seems more colorful around us. The visual clue soon affects my memory.
The image of my parents’ photo album comes to my mind.
“When we were kids, taking photos was reserved to happy moments.”
So many memories...
Like a long wave that loses strength at the shore, I’m touched by yet other memories from my childhood. However, soon the hangover brings back the synesthesia that envelops me.
I push the buttons on Lucy’s cellphone. I go to her cellphone photo album.
– No, this can’t be...
There are 121 photos of our wedding.
Photos of us holding hands.
Photos of us kissing.
– Look how she smiles... and we got married just three months later.
A smile takes me. A new sensation and memory assault me. I recall the mornings... when I woke up with the sunshine piercing the curtains and shining her face. The smell of the morning, the sound of her breathing while asleep, light and serene... yes, light and serene even as she sleep-talked, usually about food. But I remember those moments like if all were just one. Eternal. By then, everything impressed me. By those times... Every day a sensation of safety, of home, presented itself to me. And all I could do was to be thankful... for after all, she was here. We were together. I immediately understand why Lucy still keeps our wedding photos on her cellphone—to look at them whenever she can—, it was to remember... to be able to constantly recall that... we were very happy.
Just like my parents once were...
I head to the bathroom with slow and light steps. Like walking over thin ice, ceasing my thoughts, shutting up my interior voice. Then, I land my hands vertically on the door. I land them and hold the doorknob.
The sound of rain, inside.
– Could it be?
I lean my head against the door. I note that my legs shake involuntarily, but you may be thinking: “he is afraid.”
Shut up, you idiot. I’m trying to hold myself. That’s the fucking truth.
Soon, the tremors migrate to my hands that tighten over the wood of the door and the metal of the doorknob. A deaf sound is produced by the drumming, which is disconnected to my volition. Containing such humongous chemical and electrical pulsations caused a tremor even on the interval between heartbeats #155 and #156 in my chest. Only when the tail of doubt laced me, quieting its mental prey, could I voice my tormenting anguish.
– But should I?
Of course back then I had but the faintest idea of what a Mormon was. Only later I found out that the real question should have been: “Who’s Mormon?” The only thing I knew at the time was that they called the religion the “The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints”. Well, if there was Jesus anywhere, I was fine with it. After all, I’m a very religious man, a man of Christ, a son of God. However, it didn’t take me long to dig some interesting things on the internet. I found out that the book they had, their Bible kind of stuff, wasn’t old but rather new... in a way. The church was created in the 19th century but the story it tells it’s like the Bible 1.5, right after the Old Testament and before Jesus’s. I couldn’t understand the logic behind using something outdated once there was a Bible 2.0 already. It’s like to have Windows 98 on a tablet. However, strange as it may seems, the book was found and “translated” —there’s still a lot of controversy in this story—by a so-called Joseph Smith, from the U.S. Also curious was the fact that Joseph Smith was from Salt Lake City. Yes, they don’t have just that shitty semi-Olympics, they also have religious fanatics in extinction. Despite being a city in Utah—a central-maybe-south state—they, the Mormons, believed that black people came from God’s mark on Cain, the guy who killed Abel. Being, thus, cutaneous blackness God’s malediction to the first assassin’s generation. That was becoming pretty weird. Then, I learned that freedom to blacks was only given in 1863, that is, about 20 years after the creation of that Church. Suspicious. Of course weirdness doesn’t stop there. I also learned about their magic clothes (which they use while they’re still single), the vanishing of the sacred book by Joseph Smith’s editor, the never-seen original book from which it had been translated, the demonization of homosexuals and the mysterious apparition of an angel or Christ in the United States.
On a second thought, Christopher Columbus could very well be their Moses, splitting the Atlantic Ocean and...
Anyway, the question wasn’t to criticize Lucy’s religion. I just wanted to get to know it better. And I repeat, to me it sufficed there was Jesus in it. Someone could hardly distort His words so much that I could no longer accept them. I followed them really well, myself. And, ultimately, let’s make something clear so that people with attention deficit pay attention this time. I didn’t marry Lucy just because I wanted sex. It wasn’t just because I wanted to fuck her. Yes, the words are turning worse because of the singularity of this situation. What I wanted was to have sexual intercourse with her for as long as the relation lasted. If that meant forever, be it. That was the idea.
After all, I’m a noble man.
A dirty mind could only belong to those who buy a book with “sex” on its cover, of course. Just notice the strange looks they throw you, while you pay attention to this page. Everybody is looking at you. They are judging you. They can’t waste a fucking chance of doing it.
However, back to our subject, those were the best sex relations of all times.
And learning that prophet Joseph Smith was commanded by an angel to mate, also fascinated me. Yes, to have sex. But he refused, holding to his beliefs, something I can respect because Moses also argued with God. But we’re talking about sex, here, not freeing the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery. However, the angel threatened him—poor guy—and only then he got married to 40 women (yes, they are polygamists, at least in the United States). American way of life. All for the big sacrifice of procreation. That’s the Biblical will of repopulating Earth, a cult to sex like almost no other religion after Sodom and Gomorra. It’s even more progressive than the Muslims with their 70 virgins in heaven, because you can have the 40 virgins without having to explode yourself and while you still have a physical body. An excellent choice, I’d say. So much energy. Imagine that after getting married, he had practically one new spouse per year, even a 14 years old one, and some others who were already married. That’s a religion that has family as its cornerstone... any Mormon family. I can only imagine that Salt Lake City has been the most idle city in a hundred years, or that the forced virginity indoctrinated on kids can only cause psychic symptoms in adult life causing a race to make up for all the lost time, or them to become wicked for never getting married and dying a virgin.
Think of the fucking Vesuvius volcano in Italy, or even the Etna, waking up after thousands of years dormant, spreading lava, sulfur and raining hell from the skies... that dark cloud of ash and debris. A Titanic spectacle... the stage of Gigantomachy itself, the battle of the Gods. Lava and fire being expelled in a single explosion, overflowing energy, can you imagine?
Well, Pompeii’s residents didn’t have to...
All body cells vibrated as if they had just now being born and were praying their thank for a miracle. It was like receiving Andromeda’s sacrifice, a virgin offered to Poseidon’s marine beast. That surprising information startled me at first, but my thirst was so strong that I accepted it with open arms. But what I really mean is... Oh, never mind.
Yes, Lucy was a virgin.
I mean, hold on. She was almost a virgin. To my surprise, she had already been married, even being her so young. Or perhaps that’s the very reason, the frivolous and stupid youth. The fact is, she was married for a year or two—I didn’t get into much detail. She lost her virginity to another guy—who, yes, was also a virgin—because their religion pressed them as hard as it could, but the boredom of today’s bed sheets won and now I see myself marrying a divorced lady. But yeah, back to the virgin thing. She had sex with some other person for a little more than one year—being an optimist—, got divorced and was celibate for some more years—and “year”, in the singular form, is already too much time, my friend—, then she resumed her virgin status... in my view and not hers, of course.
Our honeymoon lasted three months.
Three months of pure sacredness.
Of all the countries, I chose India and Turkey for our honeymoon. She thought it would be romantic to see so many UNESCO wonders, but I had other intentions. Islamism and Hinduism. I wanted to show her—even if briefly—how Christians were better, how we had more character, we were more ethical, religious people with more thriftiness. I wasn’t attacking their religions, of course, as intolerance is their trait, not mine. In fact I didn’t know much about those religions and I didn’t want to compare them, but a yet bigger fact was, they were having what they deserved. I was just God’s good agent but, of course... on vacations and in my honeymoon. I was lucky I was born within a Christian religion, of the right God. However, I also asked myself whether they thought the same, that they were lucky for having being born from Muslim parents or for having Hindi friends. But the answer always came to me, quickly: “no...”
However, we resisted for just three hours shy of our wedding... three hours.
Not more, not less.
She broke her vow of chastity by just a few hours, but in her mind that was acceptable and all went fine, even though she changed religion some time later. She became a Christian like me. Everything was very plausible, to me. I couldn’t stand for days without sex, while Lucy stood for more than two decades. Kudos to her on her strength, but I wouldn’t recommend it even for the worst enemies of humanity. Actually maybe that’s exactly what creates the enemies of humanity: celibacy. Anyway, she certainly made up for her lost time. Which was totally understandable, too. Because, 1) Jesus told Mary Magdalene “go and don’t sin anymore”, being that there are stories like in Egypt and Ethiopia stating they got married. 2) I once read that Aldous Huxley wrote: “Chastity is the most abnormal of all sexual perversions.” Of course he also wrote Brave New World where everybody belongs to everybody, which isn’t wrong by any means, just saying. But it’s true that so many pulsations in a potential state for half your life can cause serious psychological problems once under the pressure of an also ultra-sexual society.
Good thing I saved her in time.
And 3) the only one who spoke about matrimonial behavior or—in modern language—sex, was Paulo de Tarso. And, you see, he advises people not to do it but, IF they can’t resist, do it and... blah-blah-blah. Be aware that of all his letters and epistles, only half were written by his own hands, being the other half pseudo-epigraphs. But you, the reader, might be asking yourself: what is that? And I think: “This guy skipped fourth grade.” But I interrupt such a noble thought to say that the term means that other people have written such letters using the name of famous Paulo de Tarso. However, there’s something more absurd in all this. If you can’t credit such documents that aren’t even his, less say to credit a man who wasn’t even an apostle of Christ, but rather persecuted His followers. Bingo. And don’t even tell me the story of his conversion into Saul. Thus, there is no reason to follow such wrong teachings because I follow Jesus, the supreme source. Did you see that? I, despite being a knight of faith, follow rational documents and arguments—no prejudice, my readers. Facts prove it. This is science.
Moreover, you can tell a person has no character just by his name.
But back to the honeymoon.
In the end, everything went well for the time it lasted.
– Though it’s clear that I broke up everything we had for that reason... Holy shit! Were those times great!
Water flows down Lucy’s body like a single jet without drops. Unity. Solidity. Weight. Gravity.
– I have to tell him... I have to tell him... I have to tell him...
The sound is muffled by the water that gravely falls on her, that torrential fall of a single thought.
Lucy has her head down, the water flows on her face, her shaking hand holds the wall. The cells on her fingers seem to rain down like the water above her. Anxiety takes her hair strands and the water seems only heavier on her head. It solidifies. Looking through the tunnel made by her blond hair being pulled down, she sees the horizon tightening, her choices narrowing little by little until a glass half empty is all she can see.
Her other hand reaches her eyes.
– What if he doesn’t want it... if he rejects me... but I had already made up my mind and had even made a note on the... cellphone! – Her eyes open and stare at her hand on the wall. – Where is my cellphone?
Lucy pulls the bathroom curtain open, the fine fog that separates her from the outside world exhales. The veil drops.
– Dante, what do you...
I go get something to unlock the door in a bookcase, drawer, or whatever. I search in one, two, three places until I find a coin and turn the lock from the outside. Damn bathrooms with inner locks. An earthquake happens in my mind, sending waves of a tsunami through the nerves of my body. Open Sesame.
– Fuck all that shit!
A pair of underwear on the floor.
And soon I’m at the edge of the great Fall.
– Dante, what do you...
I close the door.
– Stop talking, Lucy, and open this shower door further.