Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bloor Line, shoulder into the pole, rocking.

East Indian woman, early 30s, wearing a black wool coat with purple knit cap and large hoop earrings. Her mouth sits open and relaxed, her brow furrowed.

The Memoirs of a Survivor, Doris Lessing (Bantam Books)

Page 66:

I scrubbed down the ceiling and walls with sugar soap, with hot water, with detergents. Layer after layer of white paint went on, first dull and flat, then increasingly fine, until the last one covered everything with a clear softly shining enamel, white as new snow or fine china. It was like standing inside a cleaned-out eggshell; I felt that accretions of grime had been taken off which has been preventing a living thing from breathing.

She breaks, wipes her brow and rubs her shoulders. She puts the brush down and hangs her head. She holds on for the night. She feels the fingers, the thumb tunneling along her spine, an invitation to fall first into a soft bed, the baby freshness of clean sheets, her waist falling limp into a strange mattress. The sun sets, the parks empty, a jogger passes by, the ridges of daily dress socks plumping out. Something rumbles on the stove. Something sweet rims a bowl. And there's music, a lonely trumpet trying to escape.

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