Thursday, September 24, 2009

Love, Suddenly


Two people are on a stage. A man. A woman. They don't know one another in the true sense of the word. They are actors. He plays an army general to a king he later murders and replaces. She plays his ill-advising wife. Night after night, in their roles of husband and wife, they exchange words, glances, touches, as all actors do. At curtain call, the cast members all file back on stage to the thundering applause of their admiring audience. She takes her curtsy. He takes his bow. He catches the flower bouquets hurled from the audience and gives them to her. She curtsies once more and lays the bouquets at her feet. Then, he reaches out his left hand to clasp her right hand, and together, they move forward to the front of the stage for a final round of appreciation.

These intersections are meaningless, a part of their nightly routine. Undisturbed. Unbroken by the merest interest in, or attraction to, one another. They know, without its ever having been processed or verbalized, that beyond their thespian endeavors they lead separate lives. He is no flustered, guilt-ridden King of Scotland, and she is no hallucinating, sleepwalking Queen. What they do not know is that tonight, after curtain call, while the rest of humanity is eating or drinking or sitting in the waiting room of a hospital or playing cards or arguing over politics or making love, after she has taken her curtsy and he has taken his bow and caught her flower bouquets for her, and she has laid the bouquets at her feet, he will reach out his left hand to clasp her right hand, just as he does every night. But, this time, involuntarily, he will reach out just enough for their fingers to brush, fumble, seek. And somehow, this floundering whisper of a connection will trigger an arching thirst, a sensual fever, in his core. A bullet of white passion will shoot through his arm and trickle over his body like icy water. To have had her all this time, so near, her mystery hovering, and yet never to have seen her... What had he suffered from?

Amidst the musty parchment smell of the theater and the heat of the intensely burning lights directed at the stage, he will drift, drift into the devouring world of his senses. He will smell the captivating fragrance of amber coming from between her breasts and the dips in her collarbones. He will hear her shortness of breath despite the crazed babble of an intoxicated audience. He will feel... something. An arithmetic will happen inside his head, followed by the crashing realization of the gravity of his emotion. He will turn his gaze to her, their eyes will meet, and in her cavernous eyes he will see everything at once. And with his eyes, Have you discovered my mind? And with her eyes, I have uncovered you, heart and soul. She will reach her right hand out further, just a breath, just enough to let him know. And oblivious to audience and applause, his now fearless left hand will reach further and clutch her right hand firmly. His fingers will intertwine with hers. And he will close his burning eyes and take deep breaths while slowly counting to ten as he tries to calm his quickening heart.

20 comments:

  1. I like this...I majored in theater so it brought back lots of memories, plus I wear amber, it almost felt like me on that stage...lovely!

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  2. Excellent writing.

    You capture the feel of performing and being on stage so well, as well as the intimacy yet distance between actors. The sensuality was very powerful too.

    I studied Drama and Theatre and this brought back a lot of memories for me too.

    I also loved how you managed to describe the play without once mentioning it's name - just as actors do! It's bad luck to name the Scottish play.

    Jai

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  3. STACEY - A fellow thespian! No, I can't claim to have majored in Theater. Actually, I majored in Psychology, but I did study theater for four years, and it's still near and dear to my heart. It's great you found something in the story that you could connect with.


    JAI - Another fellow thespian! Really, this is amazing. I wouldn't have dared mention the name of the play; that's a no no! I've been longing for the theater, lately, and also thinking about how a single moment can become a turning point in our life. And so this story was born. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

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  4. What a captivating and sensual moment you've captured here with your unique writing. The first signs of love and attraction spoken in a mere touch. His feelings and thoughts leaping off the page and into the readers heart. I say, unique because I've never read anything on this subject quite like this before. You managed to bring the entire scene alive.

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  5. 4EVERNITE - Your comments are very reassuring. "Sensual" and not "sexual" was what I was working at. The minimalist approach with a subject like love, although unusual, is my preference. I'm happy to know my plunge produced something that you enjoyed and felt was "alive".

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  6. Nice writing sample. It was beautifully conveyed.

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  7. Can you hear that?
    That's me unnnnning.
    That's a good thing.

    Love this, "An arithmetic will happen inside his head" and this, "To have had her all this time, so near, her mystery hovering, and yet never to have seen her..." Of course the whole bit right before that, too, but it is the seeing of one another that is so very important to me right now.

    erin

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  8. Very beautiful. I especially like the raw, mechanical movements transforming to the emotional and sensual. And the unspoken communication.

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  9. ERIN - The seeing of one another is one of the most critical elements of existence. Most of the time, we're too distracted to engage, as my main character was. But, it didn't take much for him to get pulled in. Thanks so much for commenting and for joining my blog!

    JASON - I sometimes feel guilty about just how mechanical some of my characters can be. Your comments are comforting, as in this case, it was very much intentional. Thanks for coming by and for joining!

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  10. your writing brought me in...I was on the stage, engaged in the moment...wonderful

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  11. Thank you, Steven. And welcome to my blog!

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  12. Just as moving as the first one of yours that I read. Thanks for being such a great writer!

    Secretia

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  13. SECRETIA - And thank you for appreciating what I write. It keeps me at it!

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  14. It is life imitating art imitating life. Beautifully written.

    Greetings from London.

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  15. Thank you, Cuban in London. I appreciate that!

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  16. Nevine, you are one deep sister. Your whole story is wonderfully written but that last paragraph certainly really blew me away! I love the chivalrous and enchanting metamorphosis between them from perfunctory to sensuality.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog and joining! I look forward to reading more from you :)

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  17. She Poet, thank you for coming to my blog and for going into my past posts and looking around. That's wonderful! I'm so glad you enjoyed this story. It was such a pleasure to write it! It's also a pleasure to have joined your blog!

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  18. I just read this for the fourth time. As a theatre major myself, I must say this brought home some long forgotten memories for me. I won't go further. Smashing piece!
    Much Love, Deborah

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  19. Deborah, I can't tell you enough how your going back and reading my older posts is appreciated. Have I told you enough times? Really, I do appreciate it.

    I'm a theatre lover, myself, and I was missing it all so terribly so I thought I'd put together a little something that would satisfy my craving. I'm glad it brought back nice memories for you!

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Your thoughts are deeply appreciated.