Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Woman In the Doorway

She planned his last glimpse of her carefully. The door half opened to the cold morning, she on the threshold, leaning against the door but not too heavily. She wore her black silk robe, tied loosely enough to show some cleavage but not too much. Her hair was piled up on her head, with pieces falling, she hoped becomingly. She kissed him as he turned towards her. His kisses devoured her. There was nothing of departure eminent in that kiss. But she tasted goodbye.

"Wait for me." he whispered to her. She slipped her charm around his neck.

"Only if you wear this." she answered.

Every night at sundown, she laid out the instruments of her craft. The black glass bowl, fresh water consecrated under a full moon. She would sit in the dark, chanting words that no longer meant anything to anyone. And eventually, his image floated up to her. Sometimes, she saw the stars above him, and knew he was on the ship. Other times, there was a woman's face beneath his. The facies varied but not their expressions. She knew that look, the half-closed eyes, the parted lips. And she knew that his kiss would leave them hungry.

The first few women, she forgave him. She waited. His ship would come back to her. But as the women grew, she started to take a lover for each port his ship docked. She did not love them but she made love to them as if she did. She sent him dreams. He tossed under the dreams of her riding so many other men. His dreams caught her with her head thrown back, her hair caught in the dream wind, flying about her head like snakes. He dreamt her naked and laughing, beckoning first to him, but then the dream revealed it wasn't him but a strange man, a crude man with unkempt hair and beard. He woke shaking with rage, his body hard and longing for her. Every port, he tried to fuck her from his dreams. He fall in love a few times but she still haunted him. And eventually the thought of her drove him to think only of his return.

He planned his return carefully. He went through each action, each motion, each word as he worked the deck. He imagined seeing the land from a far. The cry that the port was coming into view. He would rush with the others to see the docks. After docking, he would gather his stuff, slowly, because he knew she would be waiting. Someone would carry the news to her. His walk down the street would be delayed by greetings to passing friends, merchants, and other women. He would eventually reach her gate, and she would be at the door as she had been when he left. He could see her black robe, the dark skin of her breasts half-revealed. Her hair, so thick and black, would be on top of her head, messy and waiting for his hands to pull out the long pins. Her black eyes would hold the secrets of other men. He would go into her house, and as he fucked her he would tell her about every women in every port.

But a storm came, and he meet his last lover. She dragged him under with her cold hands, her green and blue hair caught him like a net. And somewhere in a seaside village, a woman with black hair gave her love to the only woman greater than herself.


Horacio said...

I looove this story! A woman that "waits", a spell, death by water, sex: a concoction hard to resist.

I particularly like the very first image of the woman in the threshold: aren't all love/sexual/sentimental relationships always on the threshold?

beuatiful story, i want to go and see, smell and feel the ocean again.

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