Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Serial (The Quickies), Part 3
3. Sara Whitby had been married so briefly that most of the time she forgot it entirely. Usually she responded to a query with, No, never. And not because she was a liar or a deceiver, but because she didn’t – not inside herself – feel that she had ever been married. She had lived with her younger brother all her life – or since his birth when she was four. This seamlessness was only once interrupted, by her marriage to Rubén Olvidades, a dancer so handsome and poised that necks snapped when he walked by. She met Rubén in church, not that either of them were regular churchgoers, but they happened to have stopped in at Saint Winifred’s-on-Seventh for a quiet haven at the very same time. They were each sitting quietly with his and her own thoughts when the organist began to practice - Bach, Purcell and who knows what. The organ’s notes filled the sanctuary like blessed oxygen filling your lungs. Rubén was intrigued by Sara’s stillness, as well as her askew profile. He walked over to her pew, sat down and began to discuss organ music as a way to closeness with the Universal Consciousness. By six that evening she was fornicating with him on his mattress that rested upon a vertiginous platform he’d built in his East Village studio. Rubén had no carpentry skills to speak of, and the platform did not inspire confidence. But Sara was discovering sex. Two weeks later they were married downtown at City Hall. Afterwards they went to an Ethiopian restaurant with two other dancers and Sara’s brother, George. Several times during the meal, George commented on the irony of a restaurant specializing in the cuisine of a country best known for starvation.