EXCERPT FROM SUBURBAN SOULS
The moon shone brightly though the curtains. Full moon. Gauzy curtains. Queen bed. Elsewhere in the house the children slept. He lay heavily over her body. He smelled of his own odor and of men’s cologne. His face was focused with effort, his eyes closed as if he were imagining someone else as he rose above her like a warrior. Was he imagining his former sweetheart? The one who had jilted him? Or a forbidden blonde fraulein from his childhood? He thrust deep inside her, again and then again.
He gave a final thrust then remained quiet, his sex still hard, and her body quickened into spasms, and something in her, too, released, and she gave a deep sigh. He wrapped his arm beneath her neck, pillowing her. “Did you come?” His voice held an unaccustomed tone of tenderness.
“Yes,” she murmured.
He rolled over, his back curled against her, and soon began to snore, while she lay awake and gazed at the beam of moonlight. Desire still ran through her body. A nameless fear seized hold of her.
She clung to the comfort of Saul’s warm body and nudged him in the ribs.
“What is it?” he murmured.
“Tell me everything will be all right.”
“Yes,” he mumbled.
“Saul, tell me.”
“How do I know? Gerda, let me sleep.”
For a long time she lay awake. She bit her lips to keep from screaming. Finally she went into their bathroom and washed off the liquid between her thighs. Examined herself in the mirror. Haggard face. Dark eyes. Wild blonde hair. Took a sleeping pill from the cabinet and swallowed it. Wandered into the kitchen. Three a.m. The moon shone even more brightly in the kitchen, lighting the stainless steel appliances, the stove, the refrigerator. Shining instruments. Pitiless, she thought. Pitiless and shining.
MUSIC – FLASH FICTION
When she heard his music it aroused something wild, harsh, and beautiful that was inside her. This was the music of her soul. She met him when she was eighteen on a summer afternoon inside a New York City Subway station. Under his arm he had tucked his first album—a jazz album. Later he would receive a MacArthur Genius Award for this music.
It was overwhelming. In the hotel room she danced for him, pale and sinuous. You are like a Modigliani, he said. You have a special kind of beauty. She bit into his neck when they made love, marking her territory. Later he divorced his wife—or she divorced him. It started with the bite on his neck.
He overwhelmed her. His music. Her music. He was thirty-four, suave and cool—yes cool—and she was as naïve as a baby in her young eighteen year old body. Hormones glowing. Sex blowing through her.
She was his muse.
But he had already composed the best music he ever would, although later albums would bring him far more acclaim .
Who was she? A nothing. A crazy girl full of desires and confusion and a magnetic power she did not know how to control.