Two Rumors About a Cultby Jim Evans
He was going to have sex with her. He wanted to bring flowers. A bouquet seemed like too much of a gesture. He watched himself on camera twisting the head off of a rose. A person had seen it and they turned away, showing their black clogs, the dusty bottom of their leather bag, and muscle in their legs that was striking, possibly from malnutrition. The tallest residential building in the world, because of dew sucked through it on close days by equidistant rows of massive turbines—fraying the appearance—looked like an unfinished background painting. She would quiver when touched. His parents were dead. He once dreamt, wanting to give them what no one else had thought to give, of being an old man calling them mommy and daddy again; a reason he remembered this? To not speak it he would look out her bedroom window. The building would be there.
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A flower stand by a bus stop. A pink rip in the sky. It was dusk. She would have witnessed a car crash then had she not been practicing.
On her forehead hands materialized, each cupping a lobe of skull. From the crown of her head a second pair of hands came to lay across the first, making a knuckle-y lattice. The face-covering portion of this hand-helmet was a gesture of concentration and unity: fingertips pressed flatly together below her upper lip, the thumbs beside her nostrils. And from her clavicle, hands that jutted out as if to catch what fell from her mouth. And from her clavicle to her shoulder: hands curled like the condemned at a prison’s walls. Her arms were ribbed by tightly-clasped hands, a team trying to pull down a sapling. Her chest was a chorus of praise-hands bracketing a loose maggot-pile of fingers all the way down to her waist. A headdress arrayed behind her hand-helmet was many prestidigitations, and finally two horns of supplication.
She came to afterwards in the middle of the night, staring at a spider-webbed lightbulb outside her hotel door, at an hour quiet enough with a moth big enough to make a distinct sound when it bumped her.
“I’m crazy—but I’m baller,” was all she had to tell him about it, and he nodded enthusiastically.