Sunday, 1 May 2011
Extract from my short story “Appearance”
“All the right doors were suddenly opened; it was like they waited for me.” He exhaled noisily. “I feel like an android, but that was that.”
“Well, you have me, here.”
He grinned. “Yes, it feels fine to drop out sometimes.”
“Drop out? You mean like a hippie?”
“Hippie.” He tasted the word. “I remember when these things were fashionable. Everybody loved retro fashion a couple of years ago. The clothes they had, it was like the 70s.” She did not respond, so they were just lying there silently. He felt a weak tremor in her leg which continued to her upper body. It’s cold here, he thought as he listened to the low sighing from the apple tree out on the yard. His neck creaked loudly as he moved and her foot touched him lightly over his face and mouth. He noticed her socks with its embroideries of comical scenes.
“Thanks. I bought them in the youth section on sale years ago and have kept them since. I don’t know why, but I like them.”
He made a new attempt to pursue his story: “I would be better off if I stopped worrying and became more like you.”
She laughed. “Do you want to walk the tightrope?”
The damp-stained roof was musty dark. Its rough beam structure reminded him of cut-down trees. ”My body and I have not always been compatible. Hey, you haven’t told me much about yourself, he smiled. “How many have you been with? Were they serious affairs? How come you fancy older men?”
She sounded annoyed when she answered. “There’s really nothing much to say…I like autonomy above all.”
They were lying there quietly. She kicked him carelessly in the face as she got bored. He felt her impatience and asked what they should do. She answered absentmindedly that they could do whatever he wanted. He wondered if she really meant that and got a wild impulse to test her. He pressed his hand against the small of her leg and said with a forced voice: “Can you really prove that?” She sat up and eyed him.
Ande Enochsson (b.1979) lives in Uppsala, Sweden. He writes short fiction and poetry and maintains a blog named Faun. Some of his pieces have been published in, for instance, Fosebook and Smokestack. Ande is also an editor of the literary journal Rufous Salon.