There were zinnias, aligned in a row along his country home driveway, each with a patch of snow in the middle of it--evidence of a climate gone awry. He saw her taking a shower, this young thing with young legs and arms, long maiden hair. He was older now, debonair, some would say; he had made his mark in the industry and was respected for it. But she could feel his desire, his longing to ravish youth, vitality, devour it like a chocolate eclair.
When they went to his flat in New York City as a couple, there were movies on the walls, images so vast they made her anxious. He had every amenity in this haven, this brownstone in a neighborhood where other musicians lived, composers, notable writers, artists with their work in MoMa. She went to the courtyard to make a call to an old friend. The friend had said she was going to visit her in the city, but there was apprehension in her voice now. Curiously, when she looked into the dark pane of a window, she had noticed new lines etched across her face, her hair not as perfect and maidenly. She had told her friend that he had started to notice her flaws, how perhaps his friends saw her dimpled ass, the peek of a varicose vein behind her knee. She was losing it. She told her friend that she was certain she was losing it.
It started to rain and the courtyard became a pool, vast and green. She touched the cement filigrees of the walls. "I haven't talked to her in years," she gossiped, and she said it as an affront, as if it were the estranged friend's fault and she had nothing to do with the severing of the relationship. When she hung up the phone, she had a fever. She went back to the flat and found no one home. Her mother took her temperature while she was lying on the sofa watching the images flash across the walls, images of bombed cities, crumbling buildings, rubble.
It was time to accept it for what it was, she thought, an entity moving toward some vanishing point, where everything that flashes, wanes, then becomes nothing at all.