Monday, September 14, 2009

Pleasure of Waking

Roger looked at Veronica, looked at the hard shell of her face and listened to the hum of the airplane.

"Roger, you are a nice man," Veronica said en francais. "You say you want to marry me, but I do not believe in it. I believe we should spend time together, for as long as we wish to, but make no promises."

Roger shut his eyes and saw their nakedness in the Abbeville hotel room, but he was sad because when he opened his eyes a profound thing occurred: their nakedness was gone.

He spoke in English

"I can't," he said. "We are from different places. We do not understand each other's languages."

She shrugged. "C'est vrai."

Roger decided to blink as little as possible for the remainder of his flight, though he was growing tired and knew soon he would have to shut his eyes to sleep.

Veronica walked to the bathroom stall and never returned. Perhaps she found an empty seat in another row, or perhaps she disappeared altogether from the world. He would never know if either were true.

Roger drifted to the constellations of distant lights crawling along the blackness beneath him.

As he transitioned from his window seat to a dream, Roger understood that this dream would return each night and would sadden him, but he took comfort in the inevitable fleeting pleasure of waking.