Suzanne


Her hands move continously, plucking shapes out of the air, stroking your arm, your shoulder and when you move slightly away, she rubs and pushes the skin on her own face.
She is a dervish of ill commmunicated desire.
Her hair, greyer than your own, is long, uncombed, although in her moments of near stillness she runs her fingers through it, teasing out snarls and tangles only to re-make them as the movements continue.

And her voice, her voice is constant, just this side of audible, so that you have to lean forward, get closer to her, to hear what she says.
“I took him to the river ” she says ” I took him there and he was almost famous, so serious, so cold, I took him there”.
Her voice trails off, sentence lost and she strokes your arm again, but her fingers are more insistent now, jabbing through the fabric of your coat.
” I feed him oranges, all the way from China , see, red oranges, red chinese sun, everything red…………….” and then she pauses, confused within her own personal narrative.
“No, Japan is the red sun, China is just red, blood red, blood red oranges, red sun on the water”, her voice is even quieter, you lean in closer and she looks directly at you, eyes showing a clarity, an understanding.
” He said he didn’t love and I said it didn’t matter, but, oh it did” and now she is rocking backwards and forwards and her speech is coming faster,
” On the river , I saw him walk upon the water and he said he could save me, save me from drowning, save me from the sea and he touched me, oh yes, he touched me, not just with his mind”, the last phrase is loud, almost shouted and suddenly she is laughing and her hands are on her own breasts,
“he touched me, not just with his mind”.
You make sushing noises, trying to calm her, to stop this terrible laughter and then it is gone and the silence feels even louder and she looks at you again,
“he watches me, from his tower, he watches me, but I am safe, the river will keep me safe”
You want to walk away, but she’s got you on her wavelength now, you want to walk away, but you can’t.
You reach out, one finger resting on her face,
“Suzanne” you say “Suzanne.

About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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