Character Assignation, 1

As they walked down the street in the gentle mist he was struck by an impression that she would someday be an extraordinary grandmother or eccentric aunt to some marvelously blessed children. It wasn’t that she seemed prematurely old, or frail, but rather that as she walked, her movements had a sweetly halting hesitancy of someone much older. It was almost as if her frame had seen many more years and miles than her bright eyes gave indication to.

***

She spoke intimately and often of the universe. As if she and it were one. She smiled and waved her arms as she spoke about the cosmos, and energy vampires. And he let her talk and didn’t interrupt because it was peaceful to simply stare into her soft blue eyes.

Once at her house, she was dying to get stoned and feeling gracious. Instead of asking him to leave she said skunk weed? and made it sound like a magical choice that he couldn’t refuse. And once he was stoned, she told him the story of her ex, and how she drained her energy, masturbating incessantly to a nude picture she’d been so high on champagne she let her take on their honeymoon.

She felt it, she said. Every time her ex came, aching like the ghost of a severed limb.

At some point, he interrupted, “My brother was schizophrenic.” He rushed to get past the word. “He’s dead now. But when I first noticed it in him, it was because he spoke a lot like you do now. He used many of the same words. Same ideas.”

“And I guess, even though it’s not fair because you had nothing to do with my brother, nothing in common with him, the association is unavoidable for me on some level. It’s a reaction to the ideas and even the words themselves. It has nothing to do with you being crazy.”

She cocked her head at him. “Who you calling crazy?”

 

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