Monday, June 06, 2011

the wall

The wallI just turned around to find that my girlfriend had turned into a wall.

I can’t be sure when it happened but I swear she was normal when we sat down earlier.

Underneath her facade she still has her lovely legs with the strappy sandals she loves but everything else about her is wall, from one end of the living room to the other.

I made a breathy excuse and slipped into the kitchen to reel in the elastic of my jaw, to pull it back from where it had fallen open onto my chest with the shock. I mean one minute you’re thinking about what to watch on telly, the next minute your beloved is plaster and lathe.

Sensing my anxiety she followed me and offered to put the kettle on to make tea. Frightened I would be crushed if she tried to turn around in our tiny kitchen, I feigned an immediate recovery. “Come back to the living room” I solicited, in all probability a little too jauntily but isn’t that the nature of fear-induced fakery? What else could I say?

Once restored to our former positions in the lounge my girlfriend seemed to fit her surroundings more naturally, I sat pondering on this strange situation. I began looking her over, surreptitiously, for chinks. I could not find even one. The intact nature of her wallness belied any suggestion that she had ever once been any different. As she sat smoothly reflecting the glow of lights bouncing from the TV screen, nothing was there to distinguish her from any normal wall. Smooth as if she had been freshly rendered, still as a Buddha, she had become part of the fabric of our house, serenely integrated into its structure, she was at home. For a brief moment I envied her connection, envied her stillness. For myself I was terrified.

How would I be able to cuddle this wall of a woman? I could not imagine myself holding her in my arms or us dancing cheek to cheek to a slow song, even though I supposed, this was still technically a possibility. How was I going to even kiss her, where was her mouth even located?

“How do you feel my love?” I enquired cautiously, hoping to spot an opening.

Immediately she was guarded; “why?”

She spoke so quickly I couldn’t be sure I saw anything move, not a single hole or a mouth shaped dent in her skimming.

“Just asking” I retreated and casually returned to Saturday night, strait family viewing.

For a while we sat next to each other like we always had and I tried to imagine our new life. I envisioned hers as one of increasing placidity with perhaps occasional calls from the builder if anywhere became damp.

Inwardly depressed, I presumed mine as one of increasing isolation from social society.

Suddenly a gripe in my belly forced me to shift in my chair as a thought arose fully formed into my mind, a terrifying sickening thought. ‘What about bedtime?’

I tried to think it through logically perhaps she would stay down here where she seemed to me so much to belong.

Then I remembered how she had followed me into the kitchen and I knew she would want to come to bed with me as usual. I could swear I’d heard the floorboards groaning the last time she’d crossed her legs.

What if she wanted to make love? What if she wanted to lie on me? Or she rolled over in the night and crushed me?

“I think I’ll go for a little walk,” I cooed to her, jumping up to get out without her. I didn’t even make it to the door. “Me too” she intoned as though her voice box was starting to harden. I backed away, grabbing the door handle covertly whilst trying to dissuade her.

I claimed my head ached and that I needed some “space”. I told her it was raining and a myriad of other lies; she just stood there, implacable. Then I said what I had been trying to avoid saying in case I would alert her to her own predicament. “Maybe we shouldn’t.”

It was after this that I turned to flee, I managed a sprint to the road. Panting, not fifty yards away I watched horrified as she tried to get out. My ears flinched as screaming wood protested it’s splintering. A hideous rending of masonry heralded her attempt to push through. Unable to move I saw part of her gable end emerge and her shapely legs running on the spot but the whole of the house was disintegrating without her load bearing abilities.

I jammed my hands over my ears and then my legs set me off running. Driving my feet into the pavement, hard.

I wouldn’t couldn’t, stop now.

By Maj

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