The lavender aroma of her apartment lends itself to musty carpet and stale cigarette smoke to the eventual car exhaust and bad food smells as she follows me out, heavy glass swinging shut behind her to the morning orchestra of traffic. Her short stature belies her Miss America gait. She is a scarved, lithe stack of fabric, beaming eyes and waking smile, She reaches for my hand, glowing in the new spectrum, dulling with adjustment. I am angry salt and olfaction. “I don’t wake up handholding.”
“It’s the culture, sweetie.”
“The woman was stoned to death! And for… ”
“People are idiots everywhere.” Her casual interruption lent her free hand to my arm.
I wasn’t disagreeing but that she would ever challenge my epistemology without putting her matter to the fire and find her metaphysics lacking… burned to a crisp in the morning chill, biting at her regalities.
As her digits enclosed my own, the amoeba of her cold grasp halts my own undoing as we race across the newly busy morning’s avenue.
“You know that’s not Islam, right?” she asks. She doesn’t plead. Ever. Meaning is meaning.
“I am not convinced.”
The car doors shut like two muted barks and it’s lavender again and she’s reaching again. She drives. Screaming, as she says I have taught her, at passersby, short buses and hipsters that dare to make the mad dash in front of this apparently raving Honda, across our outstretch of hard, cracked gray. She is adorable.
Her shoulders moving to the morning music and I am a captive of my own being. Aghast at the separation between her Monday and mine, agape with what normatives that cannot meet in the middle, we are again with the approved yelling and yuppies – a honk or two. We make our way into the furthering of April. Nothing green yet.
“You’d better run!” she screams, laughing wildly and looking to me for extraneous approval.
I can only nod. Smile.
- Gordon Bruce Solomon