Garden

Prose

Now that night she said we had to go dancing, but first we had to put on dresses. A blue dress for me, a black one for her. They came from the sink as she was straining lettuce. And she showed me how to put on the dresses smoothly and kissed my forehead ironically, the purple lipstick melting over my eyebrows, and we walked out the front door, she holding my hand and dragging me in such a cinematic way. A June night, she said.

Walking through the gardens in front of her house the bees were zipping past our chests in such a cinematic way that when she got stung, with all the sadness of the word, when she got stung and sat down on the tall grass I could only think to be sad with her. That the world, as indifferent as it is, dealt her such an injustice that ruined her night of dancing, the gardens looked less colorful, the light taking off them less artfully. I don’t think she loved the gardens either, even if she spent a lot of time laying around in them, so much that she forgot to eat lunch and dinner most days. How I ever came to her house to find her like this I don’t know.

Her hair hung in front of her face elegiacally and she was lightly crying, the tears not staining her dress, her shoulders slumped like a sad expression, and I didn’t know her anymore, I had never seen her cry or express such devastation. Who was this person? I don’t remember. But I reached and rubbed my hand on the back of her dress like I thought I should, and she said something about not going dancing anymore. It didn’t exist that way anymore, she said.

It was dusk, a large wrinkled finger with a British woman’s face pointed out to the sky beyond the sun. Saying the British woman knew more than we did, she pointed to the sunset and said we had to go there. It was 61 degrees, maybe, and looked like rain. I can’t remember the month now. I followed her, not feeling my footsteps anymore, they were streams of digitized mp3s, trumpets and Swedes singing English songs I couldn’t understand. I didn’t think I had anything else to do, the dress riding up my asshole through the garden with the poinsettias and lilies and yellow roses, all sanctioned off in amorphous wooden quadrants. I was teetering.

When we had reached the end of the series of gardens time had stopped working, the wind had stopped blowing her hair around expressively, everything had stiffened. I looked up at the sky and the British woman was a flock of red cardinals. In front of me my love, I think, was a figure drawing. The gardens had stretched out innumerably like the sorry waves of the ocean, and she kept walking noiselessly, not pulling at my hand anymore, taking off her flats and leaving them desiccated in pots of hydrangea petals.

Eventually we walked into the sunset on the other side of the world, I don’t remember when we got there, but as suddenly as we weren’t there we were, and the tall grass had given away to an ocean, she called it “an ocean,” and imperceptibly she looked around at the churning water and at me, our dresses left in a dessert, all the flush and perspiring strokes of orange and red and violet of the sunset peeking out between us. She looked at me in such a cinematic way that I didn’t know if she liked me anymore. I looked up at the bent sky and I heard her say something that I remember now. Such a place to get to, she said. I had never thought it’d actually happen.