Wednesday, January 14

Amber & Vinegar

‘OPEN THE BRUISE up and let some of the bruise blood out.’ I suppose you have to, every now & then, let some of the bruise blood out.
We started drinking, as we are wont to do, without excuse, other than a bottle of red my grandmother gave us for Christmas. I started it off, the conversation, and then it went from there, on & on, taking a toll but, also, a relief. You have to let some of the bruise blood out every now & then. I ran out of tobacco. There is an amber weather warning and the wine is good—
‘That’s because you drink vinegar.’
I’ll drink the vinegar if it’s the cheapest wine I can find. When there is red wine in the flat that isn’t vinegar, she will partake and we go through the bottle quickly and heartily and we smoke until the room is grey and my eyes sore.
She has shifted somewhat to the middle of the bed, aligned between her pillow and mine. As I enter, she moves aside. She has warmed it up. I have been finishing a bottle of vinegar and a long laborious book that I did not care for but wished to finish only for my own pointless sense of accomplishment (like university, except with better print). I liked her warming up the bed. She did not wake when I got in beside her. I put my hand on her back as though it were a hot pane of glass. I slid my hand underneath her pyjama top and rubbed her back. Underneath her spine bobbed my fingers; the fan of her hips. She turned to face me in sleep. Awkwardly I could place my fingers on her left knee. I rubbed her knee. It was silly but I wanted, more than anything, to keep rubbing her knee. Its blunt hairlessness aroused in me something that I could not pinpoint, nor could I resist it, like a tactile child fascinated by discovering something new about the world. A long time passed in which I pushed myself away from sleep, lost in the rub-rub-rubing of her knee. I noticed that her knee was perspiring; so on my finger I felt her sweat slowly accumulate. I got a fair amount of sweat on my fingers. Finally I desisted.
We opened our bruises and let some of the bruise blood out. She went to bed with a headache and I stayed up to read, resisted my vinegar and instead took to these keys with only a stick of chewing gum. Now she has warmed the bed again, and that is what I long for during an amber weather warning.

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