• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 06
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Evening Walk.

Along the path encroached on both sides by dense, ugly shrubbery, she thinks of the strange juxtaposition (perhaps it is not so strange) of the town's cemetery and its farms, only a few seconds apart. The unyielding endless work of the men and women seem to her constrained to life's essences: preparing death and cultivating life. The same earth which shrouded human bodies loved and held and watched by others, also, in its spare time, shot up cabbages. It was a thrilling thought. She enjoyed the airy drift of evenings, how everything pales and deadens, released from the day's incessant, buzzing avidness. She walks on, feeling the crunch of pebbles under her shoes. She always wore shoes, found them proper and discreet. She thinks of feet as parts to hide; private, known only to her, away from other eyes, other smells, other sounds. Where her own hands can trace the old skin, the pink ridges, the clever, judicious symmetry. Or maybe it is some other more trivial reason. She is never sure what she thinks. She passes the store owned by the old Muslim couple and wonders what they do when they are not selling bread or bananas or chatting with the morning's first customers. She stops abruptly, turns, and stares at the long building; fresh paint on the old walls, an obnoxious blue, but she doesn't mind the orange. Alone in the street now; witnessing, as shadow claims the world with one giant wave. Her body is in the background, without detail or specificity. Bland. What freedom, to be out here, and be nothing special, nothing at all. Not a wife, not a mother, not a person, just another formless, silent thing. Free from meaning. Incidental. She embraces the full rush of this feeling, this weightlessness, and the new fine strength in her legs, across the chest. Perhaps, she will return home, before they start looking.