Mango

mutatus poster by P INES 14-01-27

From the minute you stand on your side of the doorway, stepping back timidly to let me in, yes, of course, how could I have forgotten your face?

Quick, let’s retreat to your room.

On one knee, you finger a hole in a rug on the floor. Evaluating it like the bruise a child brings to you for solace. For a split second I feel invisible. When I remind you of the Breema exercises you wanted to show me, you say, we’ll do that later. The weather’s so nice, let’s go for a walk first.

Your wife gets a kiss on both cheeks from me as we meet up in the hallway and she pulls on a light jacket. Her face is leathery. Has something noble about it. I’d say she’s the natural fibre wearing type to have gone on anti-war demos, breastfed her children and smoked pot in her youth. Maybe even still does. Definitely still does. She’ll read meaningful books, bake her own bread, cultivate a herb garden. She’s the type to not shave her pubic hair. Something tells me she might also be prone to the odd migraine or depression. Her features are sad and remotely beautiful. I have no reason or inclination to hurt her.

Are you coming with us?

My question is sincere, tho I’d rather she didn’t come along but if she chose to, what the hell? There’ll be other times.

Erm, no, she says, her voice faint, as if she doesn’t really want to give it to me.

You take your keys and off we go. Did you say something to her before leaving? I can’t remember, though I do remember that the only kisses she got were from me.

This is the best ice-cream parlour in town, you assure me as we pick our way through the outdoor café tables  lancing shadows, oversized freckles, at our feet heading for somewhere less crowded. At last, the dearth of the winter, left behind. The sun cajoling grateful passers-by to put on colours they wouldn’t have done a month ago. The sale of sunglasses’ll go up. And nail varnish. I’ve forgotten already which flavour you chose, but mine is mango.

(from Mut@tus)

*

Reader reviews:

‘This goes beyond EROTICA, beyond the culturally CENSURABLE. It is sheer BEAUTY as was Henry Miller at his most LIBERATED.’

‘Of all the books I’ve read, this has DIVIDED ME AGAINST MYSELF more than any other.’

‘I JUMPED AT THE CHANCE to read more by this obviously talented and original authoress. I was not disappointed – ‘blown away’ would be a more appropriate description. This is an abridgment of a novel which pushes the boundaries of women’s literary fiction to its limits – a D.H. LAWRENCE TYPE OF MOMENT (…) I can’t say enough good things about this novel. This is a haunting work which will stay in my head for a long time.’

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