By William Bedouin
No, wait, my foot is sliding. Ok it’s almost there. My foot is sliding across the ground towards the curb. Ok, wait, no, not ok – keep your head up! Come on keep it up!
Today was maybe the third time both slid past each other. Well, slid isn’t fair. Their bodies slid, because that’s what they were forcing them to do. Sliding is slightly more clandestine than walking, and implies movement out of one’s control. On the the street a few nights ago they did not know that they (Willack and Eld) would run into each other, and so had not lubricated their bodies in preparation. Not physically lubricated, of course, that would be disgusting, messy, difficult, and possibly suggestive. What I mean is that Willack and Eld did not have time to glass their eyes, put in their headphones or quicken their step. They passed each other like a knife cutting against the grain of a particularly hard wood, each imagining they were the knife. They halted, jittered — when they accidentally made eye contact Willacks head jerked back an inch and a half as if he were surprised and not just scared, and Eld’s eyes widened like a doe’s. This brief movement back was like a slingshot being pulled and at its apex gave them just enough time to formulate a position, allowing them both to shoot forward in a ridiculously false repose. Willack’s head came immediately down and forward, and Eld’s eyes hardened as they were, her line of sight being strung taught in the exact direction and angle as when they had met Willack’s, so as to imply that she were looking past him and always had, Willack had just happened to intercept her pre- determined, entirely purposeful, chosen, self- actualizing stare. This rigidity I suppose is what I really mean by slide. Lubricate was the wrong word, and I confess I may have fallen to its suggestive nature. It’s as if the moment they see each other they step on to a patch of ice and have to remain completely still to keep their balance, letting momentum carry them across the slippy patch and on to forgetting/ignoring.