Monday, December 11, 2006

Story: Bad Words

One day when he was yelling at her he saw the worst of his words fly out of his mouth and bruise her. The first word stuck to her lips, the next her right cheek, the third her nose. He was appalled, and apologized immediately. When he took the words back, the bruises faded, mostly.

But then he got really angry again, because eventually something always made him angry again, and increasingly his words stayed with her, the dark bruises remaining on her cheeks and lips and neck for longer. She would smile and appear to forget the words. He thought she did, it made him feel better.

But one day he found her using make-up over the bruises. She told him he could not take some words back. She stopped using make-up, to show him. Over the weeks the dark patches spread across her throat and chin, her eyes and cheeks, her arms, her legs. Her eyes were surrounded by his darkness, and then he did not see even her eyes. She was covered with his words.

That was when she left him. She told him she did not know why it had taken her so long. Her told her to stay. She ignored him.

He watched as she walked past him with a suitcase. As she approached the front door a large dark bruise on her face suddenly flew off and struck him in the eye. A bruise from her neck slapped his face as she opened the front door. Another bruise from her arm hit him as she closed the door behind her forever.

He was stunned. His words had never struck him before.

Only then did he yell angrily, but she was gone. His words hit the door and bounced back at him. He could not stop his anger and kept yelling until he was covered with bruises and his own darkness and his eyes and lips and ears were sealed shut and he lay on the floor shaking, his anger nothing without her.

Victor Schwartzman

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