Things Left Mostly Unsaid (02)

§02 — It was too self-evident for words. Even this shouldn’t have required utterance. The redundancy echoed emptily through it. It added and then multiplied nothing. Nevertheless, it had crept into the conversation. Now he snapped at the intrusion.
“That goes without saying.”
“Yes, it has,” she said. “That’s its way.”
Her philosophical perversity struck him as glib and infuriating. “How can you even think that, let alone say it?” he demanded.
“Isn’t it obvious?”
“Of course it is,” he said. “It’s far too obvious. That’s the whole point.”
“So drop it. How difficult is that?”
He made an animal noise signaling rage mastered by humor. She laughed at it politely.
“You let it get to you too much,” she continued. “Why does it matter?”
“What kind of question is that?”
“You don’t like it?”
“Whether I like it or not isn’t the issue.”
“It wouldn’t be, if you cared less about it.”
“So it’s my fault now?”
The deflation was jolting. She could only laugh again, shaking her head. The way he fed it – while at the same time lamenting its prominence – was an extraordinary thing to see.
“You have to let it go,” she said, as soothingly as possible. “It’s not just going to get up and leave, while you’re worrying at it.”
“What if it has to be dealt with?”
“That’s your guess?”
“Regardless,” he insisted.
“It’s not asking anything of me.”
“Not as far as you can tell.”
‘Tell’ was a word, she now realized, that she’d never listened to enough. Ancient sorceries hummed within it. “I can’t tell,” she tried, experimentally. “It’s hard to tell.” What might be telling?
“Are you even listening?” he wondered.
“I’m trying to.” She shook her head again, as if to clear it. “There’s a lot going on.”
“It only seems like that.”
“No,” she said. “It doesn’t. It seems as little as possible. Still though …”
“Still what?” he asked.
“Catching glimpses, whispers – there are chances.”
“‘Chances’ – Christ,” he said, without attempting to conceal his disgust. “That’s what you call them.”
“You’d prefer ‘curses’,” she knew, because they’d been there before. “But that’s unbalanced.”
“You can’t balance this.” It had always been his main point. “There’s no leverage.”
“Brains are sheer leverage.”
“They’re side-eddies.”
“That too,” she accepted. “But balancing is the only thing they do.”
“Or try to do.”
“That was built-in.” Built-in to the statement, she had meant, not the organ, though it worked equally either way. Over time it cancelled out. To be poised out at an edge was still to be poised. It wasn’t a matter of foundations, but of traffic.
“Okay, that’s enough,” he thought aloud, and it was.

February 2, 2020admin 1 Comment »
FILED UNDER :Fiction

One response to this entry

Leave a comment