anything to make that smile

  • An acoustic cover of Home, by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, by Jorge & Alexa Narvaez.

    He calls, soft, exhaustion laced, considerate, concerned. I recite, trying to remember the swirling words of the story as I find the book, flip pages to the story, “Here is the story of Mignon as I remember having read it in a famous old book.” Somewhere in my day there was news about travel, about death, difficult to process, the sort that kicks in both the head and the heart. “A young man named Wilhelm was staying at an inn in the city. One day as he was going upstairs, he met a little girl coming down.” He is driving, the sound of the city sliding by the windows, an echo of tires and commuters tinted brake-light red. I can picture him if I concentrate, the tilt of his head, the way his hand rests on the wheel, pale eyes on the road, even while in the center of my self, I refuse to believe in our structure. I hate how something so small can keep me alive. “He would have taken her for a boy, if it had not been for the long curls of black hair wound about her head.” I listen to what’s between our conversation, shoes crunching across gravel that I’ve walked across silently in bare, frozen feet, when he sits to undo his laces, the shuffling of a coat being removed and left on a rack. Habits beginning to be memorized, the shape of how he moves through space, the way he signs his name. “As she ran by, he caught her in his arms and asked her to whom she belonged. He felt sure she must be one of the rope dancers who had just come to the inn.” All of this comforting, a little bit effortless, a narrative that smooths like water over stone. I skim through the book, my favourite story on the very last page, and do my best to quietly read, warm as feathers, sharing solace over the phone. “She gave him a sharp, dark look, slipped out of his arms, and ran away without speaking.”

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