The Forgotten Stories of Manuel Milho XIX

Linea Alba

He set the fire. He thought, it was a perfectly common girl. 

The matt skin standed out, strangely dehydrated. A stumble while walking like a drunken person, yet she did not drink, nor would she stumble. Despite, her legs and arms and hands displayed – let’s nor forget about the face and the scars close to the eyes spotting the face – some proneness to disaster that she would never fully reach. Maybe that is why the feeling of disdain towards the others. To herself, an intrusive idea, you wanted but you did not make it and just look, the cliff so close.  

The very thin mouth, with crevices, a crack in the place of the lips. One could not see her teeth in the tightly closed talking and the eyebrows were beautiful, maybe the only cinematically interesting thing on that desert face: they moved enthusiastically, almost by own recreation, crowning a glassy, dense, cruel, gaze, bluntly explaining that her look was not dead yet.     

Step by step, she balanced on the rocks that anticipated the last segment of the road, ignoring to be so young, and so wasted, and so steep in her unleashed healthy animal-like mobility. She brought with her a vague hope for recovery, as if her stepped-on body could contain a whole generation of tired off children that, in spite of being broken, traumatized, with shattered totems, cats slaughtered in the street, tailless lizards, in spite of all this or maybe because all of this, astray children but good, mostly whole, children wanting to be children, if they were allowed one day.   

He closed his eyes and remembered her, lying down on the roadside, perfectly fitting between the limit of the dry dust ground, bearing the smell of the cattle that shitted, pissed, and lied down over there to seize the shadow, and the abyss made of the cliff riverwards. The trees punctuated the silhouette that fell between the legs and the belly button, stretching as a drum. Between the neck and the linea alba, two incipient bumps, ain idea of future, of the upcoming kind. Something to accomplish.       

Without he being able to foresee his strange omnividence, she suddenly turned around, an unborn gauguin odalisque – and stared at him. She looked at him as a whole, to only come back, slowly, to herself, smiling to inside her arms as a sleepy cat.  

A part of José wanted to be able to kill her right there, stealthily seize that frame, to be portraited in that painting that would never come back. She would have closed her eyes (it was so rare) and for a second it seemed viable to her that there, under those eyelashes, a chest of the Armageddon fears could fit there. The he acknowledged he wanted to kill because of earing death and got filled with shame.   

Her set the fire. No one noticed the old tear scrambling his throat, and if one would ask him her name, he would answer, od so painful that tenderness hint was. 

In that fire there was an acute absence, a perverted teenage love, the dangerousness of an irredeemable awe. 

He set the fire, he remembered and thought, no line ever cut me so white like this.