book of days serial #14

When the days passed and he couldn’t forget her, he began to grow frightened. When he went to the deep desert weeks after he had last seen her, he desired warmth and coffee in the pitch blue globe of the night. He somehow knew that his only defense was chastity, that it served him, like the shell of a tortoise, as both spine and armour. Not chastity of the cloth, but a positioning of the thoughts in such a chaste sphere that the focus on the directional energy of life is inherent. He could not change its direction telekinetically, but he would come to terms with it. He could not shed this vow even in thought. If he did, he would be destroyed. He would ignite like a spark in a barn full of hay. He would take it all with him. He was right, so he remained motionless in his car or rigid and upright on the futon in his apartment. Same body in both locations.

He would sometimes rise to the window overlooking the street and lurk with the lights off, waiting for her or conjuring her. Whatever that bird was that sang at night in California would be bursting its heart in theatrical runs and quavers and the chill night air would smell of spice pink stucco. She would drive up perhaps, turn the motor off, look up at his window and to the stars, so that her breasts reared, then toss her head and sigh as if dismissing someone’s actions as childish. She was alone in the car. She would throw the ignition keys into her purse and snap it shut, then get out of the car. The step she took up the high curb would make her tight dress pull up so that an inch of glowing flesh would show above her black stocking. As he pressed carefully to the window, a sigh of his body, she would be pulling her dress down, smoothing it nicely over her hips. He would struggle to the futon. He would see her lift the dress up over her head. She would let it fall to the floor. It was a loose and summer billowing smock. To abate his desire to return to the window he had to do nothing but get into the car and drive destinationless eastward.

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