NANOWRIMO Novel – Cuttings – Day 13

Her sleep is unsatisfying, fractured, she wakes several times in the night, unsure of the time.

She wants to blame the food, heavy, greasy, an unacomstomesd weight in her stomach, but when, finally, at 5 am, she gives up all pretence of sleep, she is able to identify the feelings that heave so disturbed her and to almost, but not quite4, catch ther tail of the final dream, the one that woke her, has left her, sitting up on the sofa.

The dream is confused, there is a tiger, prowling through the dream scape, the tinny soundtrack of circus music and the strong man is here, muscles oiled, body taut, sinewy. Everything looks a little wrong, a little off. Awake now, she understands that she si seeing everything from the dwarfesses’ eye line, so furniture looks too large, the strong man himself towers amongst the circus tent fabric and over hanging the whole dream is a feeling of desire and need.

Even now, awake, she wants to stretch out her hands , to reach, to touch, to desire, but there is no-body here and suddenly, for the first time, she realizes that she is alone, completely alone and that she will be just as alone when she returns to her own home, with just her cat as a counterpoint to this loneliness and now, she is le to weep, in a way she couldn’t at his funeral, so weighed down with the responsibility of getting everything right.

When this job, the sorting and bagging and selling is finished, she will sell this house and go home and if she chooses to, she will not have to work full time anymore and she has no idea, no idea at all how she will fill her time, the rest of her life and this fills her full, not of joy or a happy anticipation, but absolute blind terror.

She tries to reason with herself, it is 5am, never a time to embrace thee sensible, the positive.

everything will be fine, everything will be ok, she rocks herself gently, crooning this mantra to herself, everything WILL be fine, it WILL be fine.

She jumps up, movement seems essential, anything to break this cycle. She takes comfort in the familiar, puts the kettle on, checks the fridge for milk, takes refuge in this ballet of normality and then mug held in both hands, she takes herself back to warmth  the of the duvet and starts to write.

When God gives you lemons……Continued

Well, the dance of desire goes on, it’s awkward, 3 of us, when there ought to be 2. We step around each other, always watching, always knowing where the  others are, eyes locked, all trapped in the shape and form of the dance.

But , I smile to myself, look her in the eye, because, I know that I will win.

How can I lose?

Mine is the body he touches every night, my body is the one he looks at day after day, my tiny, perfect body, how can she compete with that?

But, he is so slow and I guess I’m getting inpatient. I’m not a good waiter, never have been, never will and I need to do something to move this on.

The season is ending, we are moving on, there is talk of a bigger booking, more specialist, no room for the ordinary and the chance to make real, serious money.

So, I’m running out of time and I decide to try something real simple, almost embarrassing in its approach.

I complain of  a pain, an ache in my shoulder, tell him I have pulled something, show him my brave little shoulder face and sigh sadly, wonder out loud if I should get a massage, a back rub and of course he offers to make it better for me.

I lie on a nest of cushions, t-shirt pulled decorously down to expose my shoulders and he kneels beside me, warms his hands and starts to rub, to knead the muscles. he is so gentle, respectful of my size, using just 3 of his fingers to push and pummel.

Lower I say, the pain, the tightness is lower and almost absently I wriggle, pull the t-shirt down lower until my whole back is exposed.

His hands are beginning to be more tentative now, he is less sure of himself, less sure of the landscape before him, but I life myself, twitch off the t-shirt and whoops, there I am, tiny and completely naked and then I roll over and look directly at him with a slow, lazy, practised smile.

Child body and very knowing eyes and he  looks at me and for the first time, really, really sees me and he can’t help himself, he moves further towards me and my hips move, a muscular jerk of invitation and I’m ready, waiting, but there’s a pause and that’s not what I’m expecting at all.

I look up at him and what I should see is desire and awe and a touch, just a touch of fear, but his face is turned away, expression twisted with disgust and then she stands up, pushes me away with his foot and I’m sitting up now, wondering whats ging on, why everything’s gone so wrong?

He goes to walk away and just before he moves out of sight, he turns and looks at me and manages one sentence, sounds like every single word is being pulled from his throat, letter by letter.

“You look like a child……I can’t”

And  then he is gone and I lie there, suddenly cold and I need to wrap the t-shirt around my shoulders  and my teeth are chattering.

No-body, none of the men, none of my special audience have ever said that, have ever worn the same expression of horror and loathing and tiny, repressed desire.

He doesn’t return, she doesnt return.

Nobody knows where they have gone.

The show moves 5 days later and my special gentlemen find me, they always find me and like I said, make lemonade.

My new, hard body is  much admired, I keep on with the exercises he showed me, keep my self ripped, keep myself fit.

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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