She squeezed through the bathroom window, squirming, undulating to get outside. She wanted to smell the trees, and beer, and a boy. She inhaled the night, saw his car.
An old woman; air strapped to her nose. Beeping machines. Miles of blue veins and needles. The nurse-nuns of The Cathedral of Illness. Hushed hallways bathed in fluorescence. The murmured prayers and incantations.
When the boy put his fingers inside her, she gasped. She let the movement take her from the backseat to the oak trees and then up, up, up. She was a cloud girl, inhaling the scent of him, exhaling the scent of her, filling the car. A windshield fogged in their essence.
An eighty-year-old woman with paper for skin. Bones poking the white sheets. Linoleum floors antiseptic cleaners frowning doctors. The nurse-nuns slip bags of fluid onto metal hooks. A long tube with urine dripping. Count the millimeters; what goes in and out. A rhythm of tides. The tired doctor. The waiting.
The boy and the girl. The car. The trees. The clean taste of cold beer. The sated pleasure. And then the sky, lightening. The pink of morning. Their laughter and exhaustion. Her mouth on his. The taste of him.
Nurse-nuns bow their heads. Exhale. The doctor signs the chart, moves on. Miles of corridors. The stink of silent, gaping mouths, expiring.
She squirms back through the window, undresses with held breath. The sheet beneath her, cooling. Eyes closed. A final flutter in her chest. She lets go of gravity, escapes it. Up, up, up with the happy thought of him, inhaling the scent of him, then cloud.About the author:
Carol Deminski’s stories appear or are forthcoming in PANK, Dogzplot, Metazen, Foundling Review, The Northville Review and elsewhere. She’s on the web at http://cdeminski.wordpress.com. She lives and writes in Jersey City, NJ although not always in that order.