Between You and I: Excerpts

1

“bee attitudes” from x

In a classroom, time drips away from us like mud through our fingers. There’s a bee buzzing up and down the window thwack bump buzz. It was here a minute ago, a way out right here but now it’s gone. He exhausts himself, rests, tries again. We notice him by turns, think sprawling distracted thoughts about him, his sting, about how if he let go of his hope that the last known way might open up again, (maybe we should open the window) how, if he aimed for the vast expanses of unknown, he might escape this bad place, bad boring inside place with no food no hive. How he might get very angry and come at us. We might escape. Some of us might. We talk to each other, escape, escape, until we are drawn back. Please, attention up front. x talks to us, looks for corners, draws herself back, draws us all back. Looks at the bee. Is the bee. Bumps bumps bumps. Sighs, draws herself back.

 

“anxiety” from x

We. We are not friends anymore. To comfort ourselves, self-comfort, become red wine drunk. Red wine drunk is the stuff of universal dilemmas, makes it feel as though it is an anyone thing, to be suddenly not-friends-anymore with someone, instead of you will never get it right, you are not the sort of person who has friends. We drink a bottle of wine when we are truly sad and desperate. We feel tragic and think of killing ourselves and loathe ourselves for this self-pitying thought. We. Everyone. We! We drink and drink and feel sick and gradually never is sometimes, is a lesson and also don’t spiral; don’t do it. There is only this body and these actions. There is only I know who I am. x. Remember this: x, sitting in the bathtub, head bowed over the water, watching. I do not know who I am.

 

“leda” from x

We we we cannot locate her. x. Wearing a sundress, doing pastoral. Flowers: white stars run through with dark lines. Flowers: accent on groundcover, spread, lush, amethyst. Trees: lichened. Unto. Ancient things. Women, we. We wish to be ravished. We wish for the swan god to ravish us. All. Not all. Delicate violence, the swan. Smooth white lines, that statue; swan a cyclone, Leda the eye. Calm in the midst of violence. We wish to be calm control surrounded by a fury of desire. We wish to be needed as we need, as we are taught to need—a nurtured need through years of growing alone, doing ok alone, just fine, except for that one thing. Solitude (with dog). Once-in-a-while glance at each other, wag tail, pat head. No more asked for, needed. We are just fine. Will be just fine, cyclone or no.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Blue Square Thing

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About Author

Rachel Adams studied fiction at the University of Alabama. Currently she resides in San Jose, where she teaches sixth grade English and Social Studies. You can find excerpts from her novella, Between You and I , in Volume 3, Issue 5 of Atticus Review (Feb. 5, 2013) and Issue 3 of Parcel.

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