Monday, May 24, 2010

Brita and Sheila

From Brita’s last breath to the first moment Shiela learned the news, her lungs nearly collapsing and her sinuses clearing, four days passed. Had she been alive, those four days would be a terrible blow to Brita. She had hoped, impossible as it would be, that the word of her death would spread instantly. The greatest sin to her mind was being unfriendly, and being unpunctual was chief on that list. After all, she called her girlfriend Shiela every night. And her parents once a week. And dead, what rudeness.
But Brita was crushed by a subway car on a Tuesday morning, on a day in April when the sky was filmed over, the temperature into the low numbers of a February night. For four days, when the wind gradually exhausted itself and the numbers rose from the dead Tuesday chill, until a radiant Friday, Sheila, the love of Brita’s life, would live and work as if Brita did the same.
Sheila burst into Brita’s life with the absurdity of the Atlantic flying fish. Like that glistening silver creature, Brita first found Sheila on a rickety front porch, partly illuminated by the buzzing glare of a neighbor’s moth-light. Brita was at a Superbowl party, for a brief stay, when Sheila walked out for a smoke. She had fleshy hands, attractive biceps, and partly white hair that turned the color of Neptune beside the porch lamp. A wavy strand of hair always managed to hover between her green eyes, like the flying fish’s skipping trail. She smiled Brita’s way, and they talked about their work. Sheila worked as an assistant researcher for the Boston Aquarium. Brita at a UPS store. Sheila told her she could never survive such a demeaning job. Brita hated her instantly....

No comments:

Post a Comment