Back To Basics 

Back To Basics

Madame Claire inched her bottom towards me on the chaise longue. We were waiting together, based on the theory that two heads were better than one. Split the difference. Halve the elapsing time. The fact that one of us waited for something entirely dissimilar, as well as secret - well, it should have been neither here nor there. Yet, both our waits were pointless, as it turned out, since there arose another factor altogether a ghost - altering the course, not only of Madame Claire’s life and of my own, but also that of the dead person that had given it life ... a ghost that thus reflected backward with its effects as well as forwards: as ghosts often did in the old days. The eerie side-shape was more than merely a ghost, however. There was a semblance of hope, a dread, a memory, a supposition - all these things at once - tinged with a supernatural element that had more in common with basics than anything higher: God the ground exhaling an angel of air. Madame Claire nodded, agreeing with my silent description of the phenomenon. We kissed for the first time. Evidently, the chaise longue could wait no longer.

(published 'Oasis' 1997)

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