As she approaches retirement, she thinks it is for the best that most of the people and memories from the days spent in the shimmering safety of their galaxy-jar-world have paled into far-off places. There are exceptions of course. Like images of them sitting on his veranda, with two mugs of coffee between their legs and how she wrestled with telling or not telling him that he sucked at songwriting and singing, but would definitely make it big as a drummer.
He was the one dancing his fingers on his beer-stained jeans to the rhythm of Seven Nation Army, by the White Stripes. She went up to him and whispered: love me like your favorite drums. He pretended he couldn’t hear her. She could tell he did, because his fingers lost the rhythm for a bit and later he offered a ride.
They drove through the mouth of the forest and listened to half of Jellyfish’s Split Milk album. She didn’t spare a single thought then on how the lake and the forest had outlived their ancestors and will outlive them. How they must be sensing one another, despite never touching.
In the morning, she threw a shirt on and he handed her a mug filled with coffee. They knelt on the veranda, observed a pair of ducks combing the bottom of the lake, butt-up. He played the conga for her and then shared some of his freshly written songs, even though she hadn’t asked.
She almost told him he was never going to make it in songwriting, but then he pressed his hand on hers and she drew fragility from his touch. And so she took in the calming smell of coffee, his questionable music, the quarreling ducks and the fog sifting into the lake.
Ana Prundaru is a Romanian-born translator, writer and visual artist. Her work appears in DIAGRAM, Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Kyoto Journal and elsewhere. She lives in Zurich, Switzerland.