Is that Earth to the right?
I spin around and watch the blur streaks of red and blue blanket into white. No retinas to burn and now no black. Faster and faster I catch more light and images start to form like in a primitive cartoon. A bull morphs into a ram and then a lion. The lion grows a woman’s body and stares at me.
“Stop spinning. I can’t see your face.”
I stop, but the universe continues a moment before the picture collapse back into blank.
Spots of black bubble back into my vision, cutting through the colors and white.
There’s a patch that does not dissolve into black.
I focus. It comes closer. The white tinges green.
The green pools into two emerald irises.
“Om namah shivaya,” A voice like lips but no sound except laughter. “Or as any normal American would say, ‘Hello.’”
It’s on my starboard,
I list towards it, moving faster.
“Your hair is very nice. A good long blond. Like a lion. Are you a Leo?”
she purrs ripples of joy
ripples of joy ripples of waking up in the morning rose perfume drifting from the other pillow rippling ripples of white sheets staining themselves with ice skating it’s not pianos playing the song is not by Mozart or Spektor it’s not music that I smell.
“You look like a poet. Are you a poet?”
Red room bookshelves wardrobe green padded bench a pipe collection by the poker table. Brunette by the pool table. She’s playing with the balls. She puts the Earth in the middle, the Moon next to it. “Have a seat.” beckoning “You’re playing billiards right now, aren’t you?” She wears an ermine coat covering her thickly from ankle to ear, a long cigarette holder held between her fingers, nails painted lime green. There is no cigarette in it. She is barefoot. It is as though I am standing still in the center of this parlor, but still I feel the movement.
I see the room and through it both at once. “Sorry ma’am,” I find the voice to say through my momentum, “Can’t stop to chat, got a plane to catch.” I think myself faster and I am. I angle a little towards the planet to let it pull me fast enough that I can arch off hard and fast.
“Well, that’s a shame.” She sits down on the pool table and picks up a cue. “I was going to throw you a party.” She is all let down. Her silver green hair unpigtales and she picks up a ball.
There’s no holes in the table, I see. “Another time then?” It’s an actual billiards table.
“If I feel like it.” She smiles and drops the white ball back down on the table. “You’re nothing special you know.”
“I am you as you are me and we are all...” I find myself singing in tune.
Now I know I’m sleeping.
“Korean children just say, ‘Pansa!’ don’t they? Nice and fast. But you’re right. I am just a reflection. You are talking to yourself,” Her pout transforms into a smile and her eyes glow bright blue, “you handsome devil.” She does not have to add, “As always.”
“Well, what can I say?” I am accelerating effortlessly towards her while relatively neither of us move. Got to punch up a gear. Then she hops down and steps towards me.
“Nothing good so far,” She walks to the standing mirror, on the other side of the nightstand with the Go board from me, “But Venus doesn’t care. I mean the planet you call Venus. I care as much, about as much, as you do. If a projection can care at all.” Somehow she pouts and laughs at the same time.
“Ah. I’d thought you were too good to be true.”
“It’s the explaining. Most women don’t explain, then just expect you to know. Luckily, I’m not a woman. I’m a planet filtered through your mind?” Her voice interrogates the statement, “Or maybe just a hallucination?” She turns towards towards me, the black of space shining through behind her absolute opaque figure.
“Just a hallucination? A hallucination is as real as it gets.” I focus on the blackness beneath the mirage. Orpheus’s deal was that if he did not look back, then he’d have his wife returned to life. Lot’s was the brimstoning of Sodom and his wife was made a pillar of salt. The point is clear: Look where you are going when you move among the gods.
She is close enough for the breeze of the words to lick my face, “To you.” The two words are like squirrels hollowing out and nesting in my pride.
I reach for the cold space under the silk carpeting. “Yes, to me.” Silk carpeting?
There is just the width of a scarf between us and she looks up into my eyes, only slightly above hers, “Well, we don’t have long together, do we? We are moving pretty fast.”
“Not nearly long enough.” I joke through my smiling teeth, she smells of lavender and ocean.
She hums, “Best to make use of the time as well as possible.” Her body grins like rising dough, “A game of Go, maybe?” She asks, somehow coming closer, still not touching. “You’re not very good at pool.” The table has holes in it now, I notice.
“Mmm... indeed.” I decide my best route is to close my eyes to this, but I do not want to offend. And how can a man who ignores a lady call himself a gentleman, with any level of honesty, even if she is a manifestation of Venus’s energy working its way through the creative centers of the soul? Is that not all the more reason to treat her with respect?
“You know you’re really just sprawled out on the floor in Amrita Puri, closed eyes staring up at the ceiling, sleeping your little dreams. Swimming around in your own subconscious. Might as well swim anywhere, right?”
Is there steam rising from the pool table? “Mmm.” I have to concentrate very hard to continue to accelerate and to speak at the same time, “I’m doing that now.” Is she putting off heat? I swallow. Eyes straight ahead, ready to sprint the moment Earth comes into view again.
“Might as well swim to Mars and make sand castles there. Or swim here. You know, I really do have a party planned. There’s a lot of women inside of me. All of them, actually. Every last woman you have a memory of and every mix of their characteristics that can be scissored together. You think you’ve been in love? You’ve never been in love. That’s why you’re a monk.” She titters. “But all of them right outside that door. You know them. They hurt you. Deep ringing pain, isn’t it? A tuning fork in your gut trying to grip its way out. Unrequited love is always such violence.”
“I’m sure you’re all quite wonderful, but if you could just point me in the direction of Earth?” I manage to say, seeing it come into view without her help. I see something come around the unbroken white sphere I am plummeting towards. I push myself further into the fall a little more.
“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” She runs her fingernails across my face, “If you want fury...” She licks her lips. “Then I want fury.”
That something, that dot ahead, is blue enough. I pool my desire to stay into my sudden burst away, on a perfect, blinding course towards Mother Earth. I swallow all the space between.