- Vol. 03
- Chapter 11
Image by Bruce Connew
Neigh‘Stop horsing around,’ she said when he put his arms around her waist, owning her for a second, and kissed the back of her neck.
She was standing on the terrace lost in the view of the river beyond the buildings, and the buildings on the hill beyond the river, as though she had already left him, vanishing into the panorama, into the point of vanishing, like a horse galloping into the woods.
‘I love your neck,’ he said. ‘It’s turning me on.’
‘Seriously?’ she said.
He let go of her waist, losing her again, and stood behind her for a moment. Her nape was long and muscular, despite her fifty-six years, while his had shrunk, like the rest of him, from a lifetime of leaning over the feet of his patients – someone needs to make a better chair for podiatrists – trying to save their bones from gouts, cysts, micro-fractures, tumours, all the while neglecting his ailing marriage.
His wife was obviously proud of her neck and had cut her hair short, puckish like a young Twiggy, even though she knew he liked her hair long. Scything her hair off was the first act of divorcing him, and he had ignored the sign, thought she was, like him, grappling with middle age and was making a defiant gesture against it, as though changing her hairstyle would slow down the hurtle into old age.
‘Seriously,’ he said. ‘Your neck’s giving me a hard-on. Want to have sex?’
She turned round and glared at him, her big round eyes glinting in the light. He inhaled the air around her and let the smell of her skin and perfume filled his nostrils. All of a sudden he was in love with her again, a feeling he hadn’t felt in a long time, just as they were about to end their thirty-six years together. She hesitated, as if she was having difficulty deciding if she wanted to sleep with him or not.
Neigh‘Nay’ was all she said, saying it like neigh.
‘I’ve got pills,’ he said.
She frowned ‘I already said neigh.’
‘Not even for one last time?’ he begged ‘Before we go our separate ways?’
There was a silence A gust of wind came in from the river and whipped her skirt around her legs. What an old horse I’ve become, he thought, while she had stayed strong and luminous. How easy it was for him when he was younger. He was swarthy and handsome, with curly hair and bright eyes.
They had met in the park on a windy afternoon He was sitting at the feet of a statue, after a run, letting the wind cool his face. He was peeling off his shoes when he saw her on the other side of the plinth, looking up at the statue’s buttocks, her mane whipping about her face.
'You should look at this side,' he said, smilingly.
'Neigh,' she said, blushing.