Alaia picks up the envelope and goes to her room, therefore, while Evelyn and I leave the building and turn left on Bergh Street. As we walk, my mind is working. Alaia must surely have seen it was the wrong disc when she picked it up. I remember, too, her slight hesitation when choosing it from the heap beside the DVD-burner, while Rik was across the studio holding the door open for us… So it was deliberate on her part, no question! But why?
My reflections are interrupted by the sight of Flames ahead across Third Avenue, standing beside a ruined hotel. When we reach him he joins us and starts to tag along, on the other side of her from me, sneaking glances at her while they make small talk. I tune in to her … and as you walk with your gentle self-contained swing, Evelyn, I feel the easy sway and liberation of your limbs. I’m there for a second in your fingertips, stroking the arch of your brows up and round. I know the need to flick your hair back past your ears and down your shoulders. I feel the breeze bring a sudden drying cool to the smoothness of the side of your neck, where the skin is faintly moist. I see how centred you are feeling when you glance at your breasts and the curves of your thighs, with your hands on your hips in your chocolate-brown jeans, full of love for and pleasure at your own body: now and here and this is what you want to be. Through the sparkle of your eyes, slick and fine, it always seems you are sticking up two rude fingers at the world, while you kiss the world. You love being a girl and you know what a cute little number you are, with your smooth pale-brown skin warm and irresistible. A flock of white birds wheels high above the ocean; and way above them, too high to hear, a plane slides silver in the sky, like a capsule. It won’t be landing here on the torn asphalt airstrip of Kingsley Street, you think. It can’t see you, but you see it—a mirage of the elsewhere. “Elsewhere”: but you prefer here. You may go there in future, but not yet. Within you, it’s as if there lives a stadium of raised hands, swaying to the currents of the vocals in your mind. There is no elsewhere, in a general sense; there’s only what’s before you and you love this very much. You could do many things, but all you really have to do, my Evelyn, is just be you—and that’s a pleasure!
She lets Flames stay with us for a block, before her body language nudges him cheerfully away. I feel a momentary temptation to hit him with a chummy, man-to-man statement about lesbians being the only women allowed to have ideas of their own, just as I yesterday learned that his own opinion once was; but I resist this and merely echo his goodbye salute to me.
For more about "The Imagination Thief" by Rohan Quine, see
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