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Snippet #909

located in Life, a part of Almost an Allegory, one of the many universes on RPG.

Life

The container of experiences that a living creature goes through, whether asleep or awake.

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For a moment I stand there with my back toward the building and look unseeingly out onto the parking lot where the cars glitter with raindrops from the passing storm. My toes hang over the edge of the curb and my bag thumps dumbly against my thigh as I hesitate and wonder, What have I done?

The back of my neck tingles, half-expecting a blast of air-conditioning as he rushes after me. He would touch my shoulder and turn me around with those fingers always stained with ink from writing memos on the back of his hand. He would be too close, smelling of coffee and cigarette smoke. He would ask, "Mel, what the hell happened back there? What do you think you're doing?"

Nothing of the sort happens, of course, and I am suddenly hyper-aware of the silence, the vacuum of sound sectioned off by a pair of glass doors, behind which clatter keyboards and voices chatter over the drone of printing and xeroxing and faxing and the white noise of humming computers and rustling papers. I have to consciously stop myself from looking back, almost yearning for the familiar monotony, but my pride saves me from the chagrin.

She pulled herself away from the river, where the body had already drifted away. The mire sucked at her feet, and the bracken clawed at her clothes and hair, but she made her way steadily onto the river's bank. There was no rush in her actions, each motion spare and unwasted, but the fluorescent glow of rabid emotion and adrenaline was already fading from her limbs. Stumbling into a clearing, with a trembling arm, she released a fist of snow-white salt onto the ground and let it fall around her in an arc wide enough to encircle her body. She curled up in its center, but it remained unfinished, another handful of salt lying inert in her still palm.

I close the car door, hermetically sealing myself off from the mute indifference of the parking lot. I catch my reflection in the rear view mirror and notice my hair frizzing from the dampness of the weather and futilely try to smooth it down. My eyes lock onto their reflections for longer than they should, long enough to assess the following: my roots are showing, my lips are chapped, my skin wane, dark shadows under by eyes. I reach out to flick on some tripe on the radio and find that my nail polish has chipped, and make a note to myself to patch those up as well as redo my roots, do something about my skin and the dark under-eye circles. Suddenly I feel so tired. The thought of these acts of vain self-preservation tax me, all of these insignificant details adding up--and adding up to what? I lean my head back and close my eyes.

She let herself fall asleep. After one commits a crime, one ought to run, ought to cut one's hair, change one's clothes, ought to slip into another identity, but these worries are tranquilized by velvet somnia, for, as her yawning consciousness rationalized, in the middle of nowhere there was nothing she could do, no one from whom to run, no where to which to go. After all, what dominion does one's identity have in the wilderness? She might as well have been the grass or the rock or the brook. She was nothing but a strange animal here.

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