Two, a short story by mabroyle. Date added: 2012-08-29. Times viewed: 689.
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- Intro: A self-mutilating woman and a lonely man. A rivulet and an ocean. Male and Female. Two.
By Michael Broyles
She reached the edge of the rivulet. The mosquitoes swarmed her but did not sting. She wished she had her cigarettes but she left them in her hotel room as she rushed out, in anger and frustration, cursing.
She could have left the rivulet to buy a pack but then all the water would precipitate. Instead, she cried.
It was not a cry of anger, nor of sadness, but rather of confusion. Confusion. What is confusion but anger that does not allow anger, sadness that does not allow sadness?
Instead she jumped into the river (with the intention of drowning) but emerged, still boggled by her sins, dry.
She let the mosquitoes sting her. (They refused her tainted blood.) She raised her left hand—the dominant one—in the air for seven years, her ape mouth barking like Baba, her knees bellowing into the forbidden ground.
She could have stopped herself from bleeding onto the grass if only she had a cigarette (or was not angry) but neither of those was feasible. She plucked out her eye with a fork and threw it into the rivulet (where it sank).
Certainly, she used her knife to cut the webbing between her toes, but she did not feel any pain. That is, she did not feel pain that caused pain. She smiled out of confusion; / confusion consisting of anger and sadness. (But what other type of confusion is there).
She was castrated.
He did none of these things, that old man! He was also angry and sad—confused—but he neither smoked nor drank nor self-poisoned. His ovaries were in tact.
In his slow pace, methodically, he walked.
What is it called when you walk slower than usual? When you walk faster, you run. When you walk nonchalantly, you stroll. But this was walking slower yet full of tension, with no aggression. Whatever that is called…that is what he did.
The soles of his bare feet soaked the moisture of the sand so much so that he was walking on salt (glowing in the bright moon’s daylight).
He neither practiced nor thought nor engaged in violence. Yet he was not Zen.
He left his room in a flustered flurry and drove his bike to the mouth of the ocean, where the polar bears sunbathe.
He walking on the sand by the ocean and her cutting her webbings on the grass by a rivulet, they looked at each other but did not see. She bled profusely and his blood was clotting. If only they could have exchanged vows. Her with her pacifism and he with his violence. Fuck it. He walked on and on and on. She finally bought cigarettes.
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