Saturday Afternoon – Sunday Morning

“I was an assassin and I had a job to do. How was I to know that girl was an assassin too” Battle StudiesJohn Mayer

It was one of those perfect days. They’d slept like children until noon. She brought the steaming cappuccino he liked and those warm croissants from the French bakery. They lay content and silent while she picked the crud from his eyes then wrapped around him like tin foil. When they’d finished caressing like pandas he watched her pad around the pine floorboards and listened to her footsteps echoing in the hall. She wore the jewelry he’d bought her just the other day and that tight silk dress with the low-cut bodice that made him blush with joy. They headed out on foot into the overcast San Francisco afternoon under a stone gray sky that threatened rain. They made it to the Bijou just in time for the feature film, missing all the advertisements and trailers. They found the seats where they always liked to sit, dead center, empty with no one in front of them.

Afterwards they strolled down the block to the hot tubs and found the fiberglass tub was available and they hadn’t even made an appointment and that never happened. They brunched in that new Italian restaurant she’d been going on about. The virtuoso violinist played their favorite song just for them. They hit the door of her apartment just as it began to rain and they hadn’t brought an umbrella. He took her hand and led her straight into the bedroom. They dove into the bed and she switched on the TV just as the evening news was starting. “Christ, Salinger is dead”, he said. He kissed her cheek. “Turn it off angel”, he said.

He was the last romantic; a real 1950’s, Roman candle, hot pink, Hollywood bright lights romantic, an anachronism.  He was a member of an endangered species, the only one left that believed in things that can’t be proved to exist; things like god and love, one that was soon to be extinct. He was a deer running free through the woods without a care. But he was already wounded and bleeding out. He just didn’t know it, not yet.

She was a level-headed gambler on the road to alcohol; an upper middle class Jewish princess from Evanston, Ill and a Yale graduate, an art major. She was fond of photographing things that had already happened. She belonged to that 1970’s feminist freedom crowd that worshiped at the feet of Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug; the ones that had burned their bras and had evolved some would say selfishly, into rejecting motherhood.

They’d made love and dropped off to dreamy slumber as they often did when at four a.m. he suddenly woke feeling scared and lonely even though he always felt safe with her in their lovers bed and she was still right there where he’d felt her warmth every night now for, what was it, a year, maybe more?  He loved her queen size bed with its goose down blankets and cloud soft pillows. But he loved it mostly because she was in it with him every time he wanted.

She was sitting at the edge of the bed not quite next to him when he suddenly opened his eyes as if he’d been frightened. She’d always said that she liked to watch him sleep, something about the breathing in and out and in and out she said. She told him that she had left him while he was sleeping.

A cool breeze disturbed the Irish lace curtains and they billowed to ever so slightly touch the pad of his index finger as he reached for a cigarette and that made it twitch like he was caressing the trigger of his loaded gun which he kept under the pillow. He scratched a pimple on his neck and looked at the hand painted wooden pendent he’d given her that was sitting on the night stand. The one that sweet seventeen year old virgin had given him on his trip to the outlying reaches of Guatemala. A gift for a kindness he’d done for the beautiful girl and her mother. He remembered then, that when just last week he offered her the heirloom she’d balked, asking him if he was sure he wanted to give her such a fine thing. He knew then that she’d eventually leave him.

She began to tell him about her new boy friend, her new apartment, her new life. She asked him, giddy with excitement, if he’d come over and see the new place. She’s already mopping up the blood he thought, and it hadn’t even happened ten minutes ago.  He didn’t remember too much after that, only that after some time she married the guy she’d run off after when she left him in the afterglow, in that bed, on that gloomy afternoon. He guessed the guy she married was the best part of his luck. She said she loved him cause’ he drove a pick-up truck.

 

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About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and Culture.net and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

3 Responses to Saturday Afternoon – Sunday Morning

  1. Jeff Lohrmann says:

    This is nice writing but its a worn out topic. I think you will be wasting alot of time going down this gauze filtered romance road.

    • circusinpurgatory says:

      “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Bertrand Russell

  2. James Mcfarland says:

    9.3 rating! Well written, crafty, now you’re back, in the game! Noticed this same scene is getting tired, repeated in past books.

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