Friday, May 21, 2010

A moon story

They sat on the old sofa in the moonlight in the empty half-lot that bordered his yard. This unclaimed back 40 sat ghostly around them. He had dragged out some quilts to wrap her up. He seldom felt the cold but it penetrated her still-thin body quickly.

From the house she could hear Van Morrison’s “Moondance”—Randy had angled the speakers out the bedroom window and cranked up the volume as loud as he dared. The sound was buffered and filtered by the big lilac tree and the small fruit trees that marked the boundary between lawn and wild.

They had all the ingredients for a romantic evening: a last warm evening of fall, two lovers awash in harvest moonlight, snuggled together on a comfortable sofa with night sounds and music. But they weren’t in love as they had once been. They didn’t trust or crave or need each other in that chemical way that overwhelms in the early days. She knew about the others, and he knew she knew. It took her years to see that the jealousy she felt fueled his philandering.

That night in the moonlight, she had vague intimations of this, of a love affair starting to go awry, but she took it as a vague discomfort, stuffing it into her body, and wondering if dinner had disagreed with her.

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