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A Hedonist Contemplates


A Hedonist Contemplates

 

She stares out the window to the street below. Wearing a plum colored silk nightie, clinging to cleft and curve. Ripe succulent fruit.

 

White specks, like excited moths, flutter in the glow of the lamppost. Hanging. Swirling. Resisting the descent to the sidewalk. It is snowing. Her palm on the window is the only indication of the frigid temperature outside. Though naked under the flimsy nightie she is not cold. Licking flames in the fireplace behind her. Warmth within from the half empty bottle of zinfandel.

 

She is content to study the street where not a soul stirs. Tempted to check the hour but there is no point. It matters not how late, or early depending on your perspective. She tingles with contentment, conscious of her skin. Like when, as a child,she would sit  cross-legged before the red glow of the electric  heater. Seated on the fluffy rug after her bath. Towel draped around her shoulders. Delaying action. The drying. The pajamas. The bed. Sleep. Vivid dreams of people she didn’t know. Who may not have existed. Then. Yet.

 

She lives for these brief periods of stasis. Her lack of need. Air drying on a bathroom floor. Or watching snow fall on an empty sidewalk with a wine glass in her hand. Or sitting for hours at a sidewalk cafe in a foreign city. Uncompelled… to do. To buy. To participate in the hectic futility around her.

 

She has read Ulysses. Proust. Virginia Wolf. The classics. The Nobel prize winners, even the undeserving ones. Knows Miles Davis and John Coltrane and even Charles Mingus note for note. Holds the names of plants and flowers and rocks and birds in her head like marbles in a fishbowl. Because she could do so without being told. A quest without a destination.

Awareness is her special gift.

 

Absence is also luxury, she understands. The absence of burden. The absence of requirement. Being for the sake of being. That which you hold, holds you, she had read. He called her a Hedonist and laughed genuinely rather than derisively. She laughed with him, appreciating the high compliment. This laughter, before they made love without purpose but with abandon, which is a letting go, an offering rather than a taking.

 

The remembrance kindled another warmth deep in her delta. Desire is not the same as need, she knows. It is purer. Need is a serpent devouring its own tail. She almost wishes he was here to satisfy her desire but it would break the spell. Draw her away from the window and the streetlamp and the snow and the empty sidewalk coated with a thin powdery layer.

 

She turns to retrieve a chair and the bottle of wine. Pulls the chair to the window so she can sit and watch. Only a bit longer.

 

 

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