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by sarsparilla 

Posted: 28 July 2004
Word Count: 348
Summary: Disintegrating relations with a lover, told as a monologue.

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Remember the night I should have left you? The moon was full, the thick, impenetrable, enduring Nile was swirling darkly beneath us, the sky seemed wider than was possible.
And although the day had been warmer than a Christmas Eve should ever be, the night was cold enough to see your breath? You led me down below the railings, the deck furniture, the bright eyed quietly leering captain smoking silently in the corner of the cabin, down into the bowels of the ship.
You led me to believe you wanted me to.
Beyond the loud crassness of a holidaymaker's lounge with 'acts' put on to persuade us all we liked each other's company. Beyond the permanent attempts to perform, for baksheesh, for responses, for gratitude.
To a room where the only sight line was the window, the river bank, the black oily palms moving in the distance, and the moon reflected from the Nile's surface onto the ceiling above the bed.

You turned and looked at me. You gestured. You kissed me deeply, inhaled the perfume oils bartered for in the nostril distending filth of the souk of a port now left far behind.
You led me further towards you, waited till I gulped for your mouth again.
You pulled back. I leaned in.
You pulled away again.
I thought you were joking, this was part of a game to make me want you. Somewhere something slipped into the water with a small splash.

Bringing your arms up to my chest, you shoved.
You thrust me onto the floor, away, in fury, a snarl curling and distorting your features.
'Do you see? Do you like it? That's what it's like to be rejected. That's how it feels.'

You turned away from me, to the window where the pitch sky still seemed lighter than the dark terrors of the riverbank.
The ship moved slightly, the sickening lurches and shifts that take time to adjust to. You laughed, nastily.
Laughed at my shock. Laughed at how I still wanted you.

That was when I should have left you, you know?

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Comments by other Members

Nell at 08:09 on 29 July 2004  Report this post
Hi sarsparilla, and welcome to WriteWords. I enjoyed this very much, it should be read aloud as it's almost a poem in prose. There's a beautiful feeling of time suspended here which lends a dream-like quality to the piece. You might like to look at the adjectives and ask if all are essential - again, reading aloud will help to find those places that need adjustment. Also I was doubtful about whether you needed the final two words. This is good work - write on.


scoops at 09:43 on 18 November 2004  Report this post
I'm broadly in agreement with Nell. I think your sentences are too long and loaded, which breaks up the cadence of the thoughts in each line, and the second sentence would work better if you drop the And at the beginning and the question mark at the end. Otherwise, sarsparilla, this is beautiful writing. The imagery is completely without cliche, which is a real achievement (one I envy), and you've encapsulated a moment many will recognise in a way that is compelling and contained:-) Shyama

paul53 [for I am he] at 14:13 on 10 March 2005  Report this post
I'm not going to argue with 2 site experts. This came up on Random Read, so apologies for lateness. Broad agreement - great prose here, but nothing more since? Please try more, and have a go at poetry. Off to look at your blog if it is still there.
More, please - and soon.

lang-lad at 17:10 on 17 June 2005  Report this post
I was on a Nile cruise some years ago and so were a couple who were there thinking to resurrect their marriage. On the flight back you could see from their turned away faces it hadn't worked and I was going home to bring a relationship of mine to an end. I'd done a lot of thinking while watching the Nile slide by. I wonder what impelled you to write this? I'd love to know. I know those images you evoke about the sky and the water and the bilges of the vessel. Accurate and true. Good work indeed. Like Paul above, who once exhorted me to get with the programme, I too picked this up on a random read.
I hope you are doing more. There's encouragement and a lot of good feedback to be had here. And maybe a bit of dialogue on the provenance of stories.
All the best.

Nelly at 12:04 on 19 October 2005  Report this post

Picked it up on the random read. Very impressive, I enjoyed reading through the story, lovely use of description and a really nice setting.


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