The Sweat of the Brow (xxxviii)

It’s midafternoon when I get to the Cove. I sit at the bar and give Katie a tap. No answer. Three hours later and she walks out of a pod, in a long green dress with wide sleeves and a hat knit of palm leaves. She sits next to me and drinks orange juice and we talk about nothing at all.

Ben comes over and introduces himself. She gives him her hand and he shakes it better than most men kiss. Then he takes a bottle of rum and pours two fingers into her juice. And he grabs the bottle by the neck, and walks away.

I invite her back to my house. She shakes her head. I think of Sam’s bronzes, and Sam’s house, and I understand. We go to a motel, rent a night and a day in a little cabin at the edge of the sand. Katie spares me the sound effects. She holds out her hand, and I give her what she came for.

She sits on the edge of the brightly-striped bed and reads in the light of the setting sun. She doesn’t dwell on the names I gave. Either she’ll study them later, or she doesn’t care, or most likely she’s taking stills by cort. A good three-second stare at anything and you can make an image far more precise than the human eye can observe by itself. We each carry Galileo’s microscope within us. The greatest of legacies, ubiquity.

I think I’m going to be nervous. I’m not. I just stand there and look at her as she turns the pages through. At length she she looks up at me.

She looks at me for a long time.

“Okay,” she says. And: “Okay.”

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~ by davekov on 27 April 2012.

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