Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Couples pass between us as their cocktails catch the light.

Others gather.

Her influence is like a dance. Or a structure.

Her presence combines the angles of her body, their movements, the color of the night.

A question slips through the noise about a favorite restaurant. White hair, pearls, and a brutal perfume. The old woman laughs and touches her arm.

She smiles.

Her eyes sparkle hotter than the candles in the low light.

No, she said.

Her earrings flare with the shake of her head. Bloodstone and aquamarine.

I didn't hear the second question. I don't care to hear it. Just how the people say it. How they move. I can hear their thoughts in the tilt of their head, their expectations. She gives it to them so I don't have to. Not right now. Not this moment.

Someone is watching me watching her.


When I don't move, people tend not to see me.

My eyes flick over, penetrating, but the other one drifts away.

I'm with her now, and her portrait of angles. Her presence is on my fingers like pigments. She likes when I paint her.

I'm smiling now. And the currents shift, flowing away from her and toward me.

She fades to find herself a drink. And quiet.

And as she stands in the shadow unseen, I feel her stare touching my angles, my influence.

Then, her eyes will turn. She will find someone.

Watching her watching me.


Terri said...

This piece is like an Impressionist painting. It flows easily, giving us a picture that is beautiful as a whole, with only hints of detail. I like :-)

SzélsőFa said...

It feels like the inside of a crowded pub. Does not feel very easy, though. I mean I'm not sure I wish to be the main character. Strange, isn't it?

Bernita said...

Oooh, this is very nice.

The Anti-Wife said...

Is this from a real experience? It feels like it.

Anonymous said...

"Her influence is like a dance." Absolutely lovely! Well done. This my be my favorite thus far.

Anonymous said...

Terri, that's a great description. I very much intended this one to have an artistic feel, rather than a grounded, realistic feel.

Szelsofa, yes, it is interesting! I figured that people may have differing reactions. See my response to Anti-Wife for why I was curious.

Bernita, thank you!!

Anti-Wife, not a real experience, but unlike many of the other vignettes where I explore a certain emotion at a (safe) distance. I've reflected my personality here. I'm the first person character.

Beth, I really like this one too. :) I like how it came about. I was intending to write something intimate and sensual for another series, but this moment formed on the page instead. No use fighting it.

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Jason, I really loved this. It reads almost like how I imsgine a movie camera would capture the scene. Brilliant!

Vesper said...

Excellent, Jason! A very visual piece, with a detail emerging in more focus here and there - you are a skilled "painter"!

david mcmahon said...

Painting with words, Jason. Beautiful

Linda said...

Hi Jason! What a lovely piece to read on my return to blogland.

Sarah Hina said...

Sorry I'm late to this, Jason. I flew by yesterday, but didn't have time to absorb and comment like I wanted to.

This is wonderful. I love the intimacy of it. And yes, I like the first person pov. ;)

To me, it feels more like a cubist painting, a Picasso. All those slivers of insight and impression that are grafted together to form the skin of the moment. With everyone interpreting the layers differently. Beautiful.

And Aine: I've missed you guys, too. :)

Anonymous said...

Ello, it's interesting how visual folks are taking this one. I didn't "see" it that way, but I'll gladly accept the way it came out and the compliment! :)

Vesper, I pulled out some special pigments for this one. ;)

David, much appreciated! I can still see your photographs in my mind. Really outstanding!

Beadinggal, so great to see you!! I've thought about you during your break and hoped that you were alright. Glad you landed on this post for your return. :)

Sarah, now now, I'm not down on first person POV, LOL. Just mindful of the extra challenges it brings. I think you're right to evoke the more abstract painters. Just as those folks used shapes to distance the viewer from reality (and thereby create a certain purity), I was using emotion and intensity and intricate interplay as my abstractions.