Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Yonge Line, Monday morning

Caucasian woman, late 30s, wearing a black parka, black beret, black Blundstones that have seen life and a multi-coloured speckled scarf with the texture of a bath mat.

All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque (Vintage Classics)

About page 176:

We doze through the days. The countryside rolls quietly past the windows. On the third night we reach Herbesthal, on the German border. The nurse tells me that Albert is going to be taken off at the next stop because of his fever.
She studies his picture, her youngest. Hair parted practically, tight across his forehead. She remembers his school photo. He was blessed with long lashes and full lips, a natural beauty and physique that distracted from his hand-me-down sweater with the balled shoulders from years of backpack wear and tear. This one would ride off his looks and charm, get himself a nice job at the market, maybe work his way up to manager, catch the eye of at least one of the owner’s daughters—there were three to choose from.

She held the photo closer. On leave. Her youngest playing basketball, suspended, mid flight, back arched, trying to scoop the ball from the other centre. She held the moment, walked around him, taking in the flex of his thighs, the sinewy length of his bicep, his arm taut from his shoulder to the tip of his fingers. The ball hanged in the sunshine, out of reach, as unrealistic a destination as a full moon before man landed.

Her boy.

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