Break it Down VI

“… the time was coming, and I was beginning to tremble and feel empty, nothing in the middle of me, nothing inside, and nothing to hold me up on my legs. And then it did come, and everything was ready, and I had to go. It was just a kiss, a quick one, as though we were afraid of what might happen after a kiss. She was almost wild then, reaching up to a hook by the door, she took an old shirt, a green and blue shirt from the hook, and put it in my arms. For me to take away-the soft cloth was full of her smell, and then we stood there close together looking at a piece of paper she had in her hand and I didn’t lose any of it, I was holding it tight, that last minute or two, because this was it- we’d come to the end of it. Things always change, so this was really it, over.

Maybe it works out all right, maybe you haven’t lost for doing it, I don’t know, no, really, sometimes when you think of it you feel like a prince really, you feel just like a king, and then other times you’re afraid, you’re afraid. No- not all the time- but now and then. Afraid of what it’s going to do to you..”
Excerpt from Lydia Davis’ Break it Down (1986)

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