Fugue 48 - Spring 2015 (No. 48)

Page 13

Kathleen Balma

STOPPING TIME IS NOT AS USEFUL AS WE THOUGHT At first we simply wander, delighted with frozen smoke curls and uplifted forks in our favorite diner; the remarkable faces of drivers mid-crash; the way pellets of rain disappear where we walk, leaving body-shaped paths in the air. We consider travel, but the roads are littered with stilled cars and neither of us flies. Even looting isn’t as easy as we supposed: the thyme green sofa we ogle is burdensome to carry, so we choose a hearthrug with beige mountain shapes that reminds us of Brigadoon and the seventies. We balance the shag on our shoulders and drag two bags full of gallimaufry and farrago from that vintage garb shop down the road. The only other things we really need now are your extra-wide dress shoes, which will have to be mail-ordered post pause, and a house, which still feels remote and chimerical, like Dalí. Even good deeds are unexpectedly complex, though we eventually choose to pickpocket the fob of a petrified doctor in white coat and vest, then slip script pads in the clutch bag of a bedfast hatmaker while she freeze-weeps on an Irish “magic hanky.” (Now it’s a hanky. Now it’s a bonnet. Now it’s a hanky again.)