Leftover Resonance

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The rain splattered on the leaves, rolling off them. The ground was saturated, the tree trunks soaked.

Alli lay on the bedspread and stared up at the ceiling. A familiar room. A solution to so many wants.

“I’ve wanted you to come over and watch a movie, for the longest time,” Jan was saying. Her voice seemed to come from far away, from deep underwater – from an ancient, sandy ocean floor.

“Do you ever think you could leave her?” Jan lit a cigarette. Menthol smoke filled the air. Alli breathed it in and glanced at Jan.

“Do you think you could ever love me again?” A voice in the darkness, “You don’t seem to love Ran.”

Alli did not trust herself to speak. Instead, she looked out the window, at the endless lines of water running down the oaks, in the summer night.

She didn’t say anything. She turned around and slowly re-crossed her arms. At this moment in time. At this juncture, at this crossroads, Alli wanted to reserve judgement.

Jan ground out the cigarette in the ashtray on the dresser and turned her full attention back to the TV. A nightingale sang, unperturbed by the downpour.

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Songs

“No More Tears Left to Cry” – Ariana Grande

“Love on the Brain” – Rihanna

“November Rain” – Guns N’ Roses

“Purple Rain” – Prince

The Triptych of Dan

1.

Dan was riding on his moped, delivering pizzas. It was 8:00 PM at night. The night was humid; there was no moon.

He dipped and dodged between traffic, skirting minivans, Volkswagen beetles. He rode through a puddle, getting water and some unknown liquid on his ankles.

‘The pizzas will be cold by the time I get there,’ Dan thought.

He turned the next corner too fast and almost spun out, but righted himself right before the next red light.

As he idled, smelling diesel, he considered the red sedan that pulled up beside him. A perplexed face looked right back at him.

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2.

The boat rocked up and down, back and forth. A test plane in a gyroscope.

Dan had never been out at sea before. Now, he was here on Pierre’s boat. A tiny sailboat.

The boat listed suddenly, and Dan thought the floorboards would fly out from beneath him.

The day was stormy. Gray clouds swirled overhead. The spray hit his face. Bitter saltwater. The sea was broken silver.

Pierre had brought him here for their anniversary. Dan stood there on the deck with a flute of champagne. All he could think about was getting back on land.

Pierre was pulling the sails tighter, in the face of the wind. Land was a black speck in a view lashed with white foam.

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3.

Dan was coming down the stairs, when he saw Pierre walk out the door with his keys, moving fast, like he didn’t want to be followed. He was in his car and before long, lurching out of the driveway.

Dan had always lived his life this way, with things happening to him. Awash on the beach, tossed in the ocean, broken up in underwater caves. He didn’t sink to the floor, or sob.

He went to the window and looked out the drapes. White gossamer. The morning was foggy, an afterthought in the mind of the sun. It had rained last night, drops falling into darkness.

‘Now, I know,’ Dan thought.

In his heart, Dan said to himself, ‘He’ll be back,’ but his mind knew this was not true. Things had been sliding apart: two icebergs, passing each other, in the sea.

It was time for Pierre to go.

Dan let that thought sink into him, like a stone dropped down a well.

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Songs:

1. “You Spin Me Right ‘Round” by Dead or Alive

2.“you were toxic bae” by A l i c e on The Vape Council, Vol. 1

3. “Stay,” by Rihanna