January 12, 2012 § 4 Comments
Gloria watched the twitching, nervous spasm of Rodin’s eyes. He was desperate; she knew that. He was dangerous. She knew that, too. Everything about him warned of a precarious, heated explosion settled in the offing of an opportune — or inopportune — time.
“I am afraid you’re mistaken,” he muttered. His eyes shifted from hers to the floor. His feet seemed to want to shuffle away in a dance of escape, but remained trapped in the two-step shuffle headed nowhere.
“Maybe,” she whispered. “I’ve been known to make mistakes, but I’m not wrong today.”
“How could you not be wrong?” It was a question; it was a demand. Rodin straightened in his chair, motioning for her to come nearer. Of course, she hesitated. Any sane person would have, but then if she were sane it she wouldn’t have wound up sitting in front of him — so much for a testament to her sanity. “Tell me. What makes you so great?”
“My passion.” It was an automatic answer.
“Your passion? The world is filled with passion.”
“My passion isn’t the passion you meet every day.”
“Ha! You’re as foolish as any artist. This world births a new babe every minute and every minute the world fills with more passion. Passion and ambition are the crucifixes to which greatness is nailed.”
“Are you suggesting I’m no better than the average artist starving on the streets of any city and begging for recognition?”
“That’s exactly what I’m suggesting. Greatness is not a love-child of passion and ambition. It’s not even a byproduct of need and desire.”
“Then what is greatness?”
“Nothing. Greatness doesn’t exist.”
“Goddamn,” Gloria thrust her body forward, shoving Rodin backwards in his chair. She watched the chair flip first back then over him. He lay there dazed for a moment. The room filled with his laughter.
“You think this is funny?”
“You, Gloria, are about the most angry person I have ever met.”
“My anger amuses you? My isolation and loneliness makes you laugh? Do you know what I’ve sacrificed? Do you know how many nights I’ve lost and how many opportunities I’ve tossed away in order to be that perfect someone? And you laugh at me!”
“Why shouldn’t I?” he asked standing and brushing the dust of the floor from his jeans.
“I have emotional teeth sunk deep into metaphorical flesh — a gripping vice that swells and slobbers for some sort of substance; yet, refuses to tear in fear of irrevocable damage.”
“Then tear, you damned fool. Tear away that flesh, take substance for sustenance and thrive off that blood.”
“I am not an emotional vampire.”
“No. You’re the victim of such.”
“I am no one’s victim.”
“Then why are you crying?”
Day 12 – 365 Stories