It is conceived of him by whom it is not conceived of.
He by whom it is conceived of knows it not.
It is not understood by those who say they understand it.
It is understood by those who say they understand it not.
a genre of Hindu scriptures (Sanskrit)
Ice cream cake. Now that’s love. The melting, sloppy, gooey mess that is two chocolate-cake layers sandwiching a thick layer of cookies ‘n’ cream. Ice cream cake, in all its melting, mouth-watering, diabetes-inflicting glory. Ice cream cake, on a tilted break room table, below a Costco oscillating fan and 99-cents-plus-tax birthday banner hung half-assed with both scotch and duct tape. Now that’s love.
“Julie, I need to talk to you,” my boss called to me from across the dingy break room. Malinda, my boss, is the definition of bourgeois trash. If anyone took the time to notice, they’d see that she wears the same three pants on rotation during the week. If you looked closely on her slightly see-through blouse—one of 8 knit tops (from Ross clearance rack, no doubt) on rotation—you will find a scorched triangular area. It was probably left there by a forgotten iron as she attempted to put her two rough-housing boys on time-out this morning. It’s all over the office how her husband left her, and now she has to take care of those demon-spawn by herself.
I guess I never thought it was true until now. There’s nothing like a burnt blouse to say: I’m newly single, and I’m trying to pull it together. Even now, as I walk over to her, she fidgets with an awkward elbow to cover the scorched blemish. Now that just screams: I got dumped, and I’m in way over my head. I guess that’s what you get for being a career woman and leaving your dead beat husband to raise your kids while he “fosters his writing talent.” All you get in return is a crap job putting in 80-hour work weeks as branch manager of some Middle-of-Who-Cares, Wyoming, credit union; two kids who call you by your first name; a flighty husband who takes off with the first person who actually reads the misogynistic soft porn he thinks is a novel; and melting ice cream cake for the mysteriously hot nerd of a mail boy.
“Julie,” she said, practically dragging me by the elbow over to the corner. “Did I forget to mention in our little pow wow yesterday that today was a special day?”
While the secret sits in the middle and knows.” —Robert Frost (1874-1963)
German poet, novelist and dramatist.
Night fell slowly and methodically over two figures. On a wooden, rickety pier over a small, solitary lake, a man and woman sat side by side. The man looked up at the pink and orange hues of the fading sky. The woman leaned back against his strong, broad shoulders, and she let her feet join his in the cool water. The gentle sound of waves lapping against the pier filled the air.
“Nice night,” he said taking in the smell of her hair.
“Perfect night,” she replied as she copied his gaze.
If he had not been so preoccupied with the methodic rhythm of the waves and the intoxicating scent of lemons and cake batter that emanated from her, he would have heard her mumble, “Almost too perfect…”
“Mmm…” he hummed silently. He loved the way she smelled and let it wash over him. Sugar and spice and everything nice, he thought to himself. Although all he needed to do was turn his face slightly to see her in the flesh, in the quiet times, he instead closed his eyes. He closed his eyes and imagined her face. He saw her flawless, without a stray strand of hair or a wrinkle. Without imperfection, just the way he liked it. The past couple weeks he had noticed a peculiar wrinkle etching a vertical line between her perfect eyebrows. More and more lately, she sat by herself brooding about something and deepening the impurity with it. He had come to hate that wrinkle. It was a crack in his perfect pavement and he didn’t care to see what lie beneath. He promptly erased it from her face as he closed his eyes.
A heavy sigh woke him from his fantasy. Suddenly cold, she swung her legs across his lap as she huddled closer to him for warmth. Cradling her, the man slowly and intentionally leaned in for a kiss. Her hesitation surprised him.
“Oh, come on,” he retorted playfully, still riding the high of his daydreaming.
Avoiding his deep-amber eyes was always difficult for her—they melted her every time—but adjusting her beige skirt to cover her knees helped tremendously.
“It’s such a nice night. Let’s just sit here, huh?”
Frustrated, the man unwrapped his arm from around her. She, in turn, propped herself up on her own arms, gazing upward at the now purple and red streaks of sky. He turned to her, her self-sufficiency irritating him like it always did. A woman with too much determination threatened him for reasons he continuously ignored. Shaking off the troublesome mood, he leaned over quicker and with more determination.