Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Disappearing Acts

"His clothes were piled in a chair. I scooped them into my arms. I was
tired of the games I’d been playing with him, of the games I’d been playing with
everyone. I wanted to make sure he understood me. I told him it was fine if he
wanted to be stubborn, that he could just spend the night in my office, then
left. On my way home, I dumped his clothes into a trashcan. When I looked down,
his jeans and boxers had disappeared underneath silver shopping bags from the
Atrium Mall, but his black T-shirt was still visible, splayed across a red
gasoline can. It would be a mistake, I knew, to keep looking at his shirt. To
touch it. To smell it. I reached down and pinched the sleeve. For the first
time, I noticed the collar was faded and pocked with tiny holes. I smelled
gasoline, felt grease on my fingertips. I was tempted to take his shirt with me,
a keepsake from the summer when I took my life apart, piece by piece, like
someone unsolving a puzzle. But instead I just kept walking."

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