Low Moan, Dial Tone

The fight had left her grasping for something to hurt, and finding no one and nothing that mattered enough in the apartment, she left. The doors in hallway were closed now but she’d heard the chorus of little wooden snaps the second before. She wished them a sliver of her red-soaked mind and slapped feet down the building’s stairs.

The streets outside were empty enough to not grate. Still finding it hard to breathe in the aftermath, the sticky rain didn’t help her swallow gulps of air. She was too warm, too wet with dripping cheeks and hair and skin. Both of her hands shook as she hurried away from the looming damage behind her, not finding places for them, in her pockets, crossed over her stomach, always reaching for the phone in her back pocket.

They’d gone on walks together, addressing the shadows of each other stretched on the asphalt in front of them. The shadows held hands between themselves, swinging interlaced fingers.

She breathed a  low moan and checked her phone, grateful for the clouds and the murky light of mid-afternoon that cast nothing, grateful for her blank screen, or hating it, she didn’t know.  No news, no death knell, no apology either.

Her feet stayed quick and angry while her upper half recanted. Distance let her own words float back, the hair brush she’d thrown, the feeling of her own lips turning into a sneer. This had been the worst one. This had been the one to break them open, strew themselves over the apartment in a way that couldn’t be glued back together, at least without the cracks showing. Her feet were resolute, carrying her farther from the apartment, walking along the brown river that apartment overlooked.

She kept walking.

The real river district was not the one with strawberry-painted verandas and mint balconies. It was long, narrow houses with white trellises to disguise sinking basements, worn streets paved in many patches. Squat churches and little successful business chains until you got off the main road… and she had. Now over the brown water beneath the St. Claude locks, she was in True River, and the little neighborhood welcomed her with foggy-windowed diners and closed liquor markets and other little resolute attempts at self sufficiency.

And there across the wide road filled with growing grey puddles, a soggy hardware store blazed with unnaturally bright windows. Against the grey and green and black of old asphalt its beckon was brilliant. Broken? A sign asked against its window. We fix it.  It promised.

Again her feet, but this time the rest of her, stepped off the curb and walked toe to heel hesitant across the wide road.

Broken. We fix it. 

She felt the corner of her lip tug up, not a sneer this time. It was just funny. She stepped up out of the road onto the sidewalk and into the hardware store.

Music Challenges are back, this time its to Ani DeFranco’s Both Hands. Judd set the challenge, we both rose to it. 

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One response to “Low Moan, Dial Tone

  1. Pingback: Both Hands | poor Judd is dead

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