Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Prodigal: The Precise Geometry of the Circus

"From now on, I'm only allowed one thought a day" Alisha declares.

While she has been working on the white painting the house has been quietly garnering its grime, has grown darker, chameleon-like, in an attempt to absorb more heat. Nevertheless, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that they are snowed under. The white painting has dominated their days for weeks. As always, Alisha is absorbed in the act of seeing. She carefully layers the different whites in interesecting orbs and globes. A sweeping arc of chalk-white over emulsion; less simple and less popular are the lethal heavy metals: lead white, zinc, titanium. The kremnitz shrinks from the emulsion and will not dry.

"Today my thought is about circles and circuses, such as the fact that all circles share a happy similarity but every unhappy circus is unhappy in its own way."

Electra, standing on the circumference of this expressed thought, simply folds herself in two. She folds herself gently, softly, like she might have folded sugar into beaten egg whites so as not to knock out the air. She thinks of the folding as resistance work, flexing her curves against Alisha's overarching theories of irrationality and transcendence.

Head down, she can taste something mineral and derelict upon the air, as though the house has iced over in Rafael's absence, as though they are all skating full-blown moons upon the surface of the day.

"I wonder" Alisha asks, breaking her own rules of anti-flamboyance, "Why it is so very hard to look at him?"

As always her gaze has circled back to Rafael. It is like a mathematical constant, like pi, which implies, amongst other things, that there is no end to it.

"I wonder why it is that so often the searching gaze conceals the very thing it is looking for?"

Alisha has a frame by its outer edge and is squinting through it at the room, trying to sqaure the empty circle, sectioning us all off.

"Would love have looked different if we'd have done it differently? If we'd taken a different view of geometry say, or some other form of mathematics. Might it all have added up differently in the end?"

"Yes" Rex chips in, "and I could have worked for the King, collecting and inventorying scrap metal."

"Is inventorying a real word? Electra asks, straightening up. And there and then, in the small hours, at last, Alisha's smile breaks.


smayoke said...

As always your writing lifts my day.
Sue Oke

Claire said...

Thanks Sue! Lovely to hear from you - how's your writing going?, Claire

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Thank you for Alisha's thought for the day :-)