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Horse made of glass - Part 5
by Katerina Charisi
2017-06-18 10:10:34
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She had met him at the filthy pool bar she worked right before the town’s edges that opened late at night and she had a boss that tried in every chance to lay his fat hands on her ass. A fake frozen smile on her face while she kept the records for the pool games and poured beer in tall glasses and drinks in old fashioned glasses, feeling men’s eyes on her bust.

“There’s nothing more in there except whatever you’ve already seen”, she used to tell them each time she caught their eyes narrowed and fixed on her breasts. They laughed. Straight lined on the bar, young and restless and arrogant, married for too long and bored and hungry, old ones who’d buried their women so long ago, trying to find some comfort in their loneliness and their empty houses, maybe looking for someone else to wash their dirty pants and do for them what they couldn’t do with a quick jerk off before sleep. 

kati01_400_01She thought of all women who lived a miserable life since they trusted their dreams on those men’s promises, ending prisoners of their own choices, taking care of their men and raising children that would leave them anyway and never look back, taking care of their land and taking care of the elder parents, until their backs bent and their feet swelled and the skin on their hands burst from all the hard work and never heard a single good word from anyone.

 And she glued the fake smile on her face and nodded and laughed with them to get some extra tips, and men bought her drinks and she clinked her glass with them and they never knew she had put plain water in a bottle of vodka and added some orange juice. Or maybe they did but they never said anything or showed that they knew. She went on laughing with their old cold jokes and she went on feeling their eyes on her breasts and she went on nodding on their same talks about horses and mud on their pickups and hunting dogs and rifles, over and over, but she didn’t care as long as she got paid.

The night she met him she wore a black top with superman’s logo on its front and he came in the bar with his friends and while they went straight on the pool tables he grabbed the last stool available and sat with his back on the brick wall. It was two am and her heels burned and she went and stood before him with her arms crossed on her chest and waited for his order without saying a word, but she noted it was the first time she’d saw that man in there.

He seemed not to care for her unfriendly pose and he smiled and said “hello there, super girl”, but she still said nothing and then he added “a yellow tequila, low glass, two ice, no orange slice”. She turned her back and put his drink and then went back to him and put the glass before him with a knock, but he kept smiling. He asked her if she liked horses for all the horse talking over there and gestured the men lined on the bar, but her heels still burned and her back burned and she felt choking in all that smoke curling above their heads and she had at least two hours more in that filthy bar before she could go home and take off her shoes. She spat a “hell no, I don’t like horses” and turned her back again. She went on doing what she had to do but she could feel his eyes following her. She allowed herself to notice the sunburned skin and the red cheeks and the thin lines at the corners of small green eyes. And when she fixed her eyes on his he lowered his head and played with his glass and she smiled for his shyness and found him cute and felt sorry for being so harsh with him.

An hour later it was just him and some guy fallen asleep on his stool with his head on the bar, and she put a real drink this time for her and sat with him and talked. She tried to make up for before and said “Sorry” and “yes, I do love horses I guess, I never had one or even saw one to be honest, except for the ones that are lined with their carriages to the town’s center for the tourist rides, but never got any close to them, those rides are too expensive for me, plus I would like to ride the horse, not sit on the carriage,” and she winked and he laughed out loud.

He could take her to the mountains and show her real horses if she wanted he said, many of them. And he took a picture out of his wallet and showed her a dark grey horse and she smiled. Then he took another picture and showed her his car and she smiled again even wider this time, for she founded nice that a man from the mountains didn’t own another dirty old pickup. She never asked herself why a man would carry a picture of his car in his wallet, but she did asked herself how it might be to live up there as a mountains man’s wife, forgetting all the men she met each night that came from those mountains, forgetting their women and dead wives, forgetting their miserable lives.

She only imagined herself the mountains as something mystical, the way they stood behind the town surrounded in mist and thick clouds with the snow that never melt on their tops. And she imagined a life in peace and silence, birds singing and tall green trees around a little wooden house with a well. And she felt a morning cool breeze stroking her face as they sat together outside on a woolen blanket taking breakfast. And she heard the fire cracking inside and orange flames dancing in the night and snow falling outside the window and damn, it was nice.

He helped her cover the pool tables and they hadn’t stopped talking for a second and it was the first time she talked with a man for all kinds of things without bargaining a date and it felt so nice she forgot her burning heels and sore back and her cigarette stinking hair. How different they both were back then. Why did they let themselves change so much over the years? They both had changed, she could admit that. It wasn’t only his fault. But she always felt the changing coming all natural as a result of them being together over the years. Somehow though, he was too much. He was like a shadow before her sun. No matter how hard she tried to do everything right and not let those first feelings die and be forgotten, he was just shading her.

When they put the last green cover over the last table he said something funny and they both laughed out loud and their laughter bounced on the walls and echoed in the empty hall. She remembered her grandma, sixty two years madly in love with her grandfather, telling her the secret for a happy life with a man is to keep him talking.

“Don’t ever stop talking with him. Make sure you never let talking go away. Men don’t like talking too much, but they love their woman talking for them”, she had said.

“I thought men don’t like women talking too much”.

“I’m not saying chitchat like a hen, darling. I mean talking about the two. Nothing must ever get in between the two. Talk about things, about the life you share and the dreams you have and the goals you set and how you want your life together to be. Don’t forget that you are two, combined in one. But it’s always two, darling. Don’t hide things. Don’t let him hide things from you. Let them all out. Otherwise they’re piling up and then you stand before a mountain of oppressed feelings that sooner or later will explode.”

And so she talked. Oh, she talked a lot. She talked about all the things and he carefully listened. But as time passed and years passed he ended the conversation with a “well, I ain’t smart like you, I can’t talk all the time about all them things”. And each time she talked less and less. Until she stopped talking. And then as her grandma had said, all the unsaid things piled up inside them and she didn’t know where to start from untangling the mess.

So she gave up trying. She let silence fall over them like the thick clouds of mist in December surrounding the mountains tops. Maybe it was all her fault after all.

She turned off the lights and he offered her a ride home. It was already four am and he should be up at six thirty, but he never stopped smiling and his green eyes shined and he said it was worth the sleepiness and opened the door for her.

They spend what was left of the night driving along the coast and talking, black sea sparkling under the moonlight on their right, the mountains standing still on their left, and just an open road ahead going who-cared-where, and waited for the first pink rays of sunlight paint the sky.


Horse made of glass – Part 1 -Part 2 -Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6Part 7 -


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