Short Story: Bloss

BY Laura Wilde

The leaves are trembling on the trees and bushes entire swathes patching in flurried motion being received like a current on like an endless undulant Mexican wave commotion suddenly uplifting by its force without a moment’s choice resurgent overlapping sections segment pigment boughs disparate regions of the crowd now rest only to next thing raise again and tremble heave and rest exhale and never permanently still.

A single new green leaf went tumble turning near the gutter of the road.

The tattoo had been a triangular motion and she’d strained to look “it looks so fresh” a girl had cried, well it was her skin’d said, and she, she’d strived to look then looking not for long enough to memorise the triangles cross circles incomplete come arcs deliberate tersectings geometric and yet as if emblem of a magic or an order that remembered figures, shapes drawn in the sand by world’s first castaways, by fledgling humans flung out from the sea doing math or sorcery on the sands with their fingers freshly wrought or found with soft sealed skin.

She’d strained to look and yet she’d looked away thinking how better was the skin. How maybe this tattoo was too, but it only was, it only did, had effect because. It drew your tention to the slender under skin. It renewed your eyes to notice. Not forget that it was there. That the most beautiful tenderest the softest warmest nicest thing to touch. Was there the cords the veins the ridge you’d finger long the delicate wrist skin. Skin too your own. Your own to bear and touch. To run along it smoothly like it were piano like it were a page on which you’d smudge your charcoal with your index with your pointer with your longest centre finger, never with your thumb. You’d smudge your wrist and be amazed at newness rawness almost the unbearable precision of the delicacy skin under the finger’s skin. Why was one skin so preciouser and never, less so rare, untouchable. Pristine like newfawn birth. Crystalline but overlain warm blood. Like eggshell heart. Blinding and binding the otherwise every which way would run, the streaming yellow yolk transparencies of thick and streaking red with golden orange setting sun.

Nicole whose wrist it was had a four year child. She’d learned this when it was to be, that next weekend, the small girl’s birthday. Afterwards was shown a video on her phone of the daughter coming into the apartment, being surprised by the family dressed as unicorns each, hiding behind her mother’s bare long legs, before she ventured out into the open air once more. She couldn’t remember the final expression that had rested on the girl’s small face. Was it timidness turned joy? Was all timidity forgot? Nicole’s own unicorn dress had come out of the children’s section. There were many unicorn party supplies. Candles and streamers bunting cake toppers the cake itself gelato a unicorn head. Nicole had been surprised. (Why these details entered her she did not know. Was it more difficult to forget them than to forget the rest of passing words? Was it because she did not know what it meant or felt to have a four year girl that she was curiously thinking through in the backs of her consciousness what these experiences were like to truly live?) The way Nicole had said “my daughter” as if it were utterly natural to her. This was maybe the main thing that had strayed into her mind as if it had found a proper lodging place within the palest sunhid crook of her receiving ear, as if there were something more in it, something meaningful to be germinated wait be slowly grasped as grown. It was not the same as when Audrey’d (Audrey who had a tattoo too, but one above her elbow) said “Hey girl”, tapped her goodbye on her shirtless inner arm, below the elbow above the wrist. These were unexpected missives but within the realm of what talk goes, assimilable as barely any longer shocks just momentary noticings, just signs there was still life dynamic moments slight surprises skip the water sprinkles you awake, instead the way Nicole had said “my daughter” was something she could think back again again and get no further through as if it were too deep and unconveyed. Maybe because she didn’t know, no matter how hard she imagined it, securely in her future, being like the rain inevitably would come, what it was like to bear a child and grow to four – and yet it was not that for lack of tried imagination, lack of all experience because she knew the, an equivalent of love. She knew too love. So what it was, it was not only jealousy or waiting for her world to take the track Nicole’s had had and it was not only that she wished to say loud too so suddenly and naturally a thought “Oh yes my own, my one all mine my one my one. My one my own.” She had a one and it was gone, she had a one and it was technically dust. And yet the love or the sore it could not anywhere but go. It could not pour out in the words of the what weekend it could not marker skin or bone. The only scab on her knee the only scrape on her side were caused by stone and not by love her own. It could not manifest like that so how could it too grow. How spring new leaf and bud out in the spring How hardy hold against the rain How deciduous winter root How hold it up against the sky cold air and strong How shelter high and constantly regrow Dormant rewake Shaking but Held down Trembling firmly and Innate Unborne Innerved

Sometimes you flattened into an image formed in two dimensions simulating three when viewed front on phantasmagoria a simulacrum was all for the moment that you had as everything was passing by, images on images. Some you could notice some you never could and some avert your eyes. The same stale stain upon the sidewalk. Twisting out of the way of couriers by impulse on the bikes, of the corner crosslit crowds, of the walkers’ backpacks home. Stepping away from the sidewalk’s excrements which never moved. Hearing a child cry not always unhappily through the open air floats in across the balcony. Undressing in the changeroom noticing the elderly undressed their backs so freckled and their bottoms simply dimply white. So soft and white like they had never received the sun. All changed across the low U swimsuit line. The years marked tan. And when you showered across from them and when you showered cross Nicole conversed you grew accustomed to not noticing without noticing her naked skin. You could rough draw a sketch of it inside your mind but all close details need invention be left out remain shade vague. You could imagine the shoulders unto the arms which were visible in the gym or you could know rough roundedness of breasts but tips had never entered in your eyes were the shape of the aureoles the texture only vaguely dark glanced never known the nipples small how small unreckonable impressionably small like more than large more small than medium perhaps just small as mine or maybe smaller whole. Strangers in the showers were easier to notice disparate images, to remember bottoms nipples large of the various swimmers all accumulable into the scene of water changing forms. And it was strange how your own bare body but receded face to face with hers or any face with theirs. It was sensorily showering it sensed the water’s forging never strong or hot enough, not as those firsts, and turning the taps, making it hotter never quite so right being bothered to in time as time passed while the only almost hot and hard force water passed away the time time passed in water siphoned down in sweat soaped soaked away into the ragged creviced drain the skin was wet then dry dry with the feel of oversoaping skin skin stripped of comfortabler oils and creams and perhaps sweat even was better than this feeling of too dry. Yet sweat never had lasted on the skin and sweat was only ever to wash off to wash it off and reapply like moisturisers dirt like the soap dispersed blue jelly pressed from the generous dispensing shower wall, never enough the first, always repeat, lose count, renewable, and only time could tell you when we’re done, only time could say you’d felt enough.

Desire must dictate every move was what she thought. So many times she’d thought next time I’ll bring a moisturiser like those other girls, I’ll bring my own, nice-smelling silkening shampoo, I’ll reabsorb my skin made smooth with overmuch creme streaks of white, not feel luxurious regret, that I’ve wasted one time didn’t matter, that I’ve slid slacked off demised the youngness of my skin. Vitamins in cream keep skin elastic even doctors say. To take great caution was far better than to not. The alternative was suddenly being old and finding out each time back then that oh she should have of. This alternative did not coalesce, did not become real real to her because she had yet time to rake, reverse. She’d time she water tread.

Outside the stadium on benches was a father bent intently braiding up his daughter’s curly hair. Trying not to stare so he wouldn’t know what a spectacle he was. Beautiful care, perfect tight braid, only half done. The rest curly morass burgeoning dark oil gloss on shoulders sprung. Corkscrews relet, pulled and let go.

Functioning was important and ignoring not an opposite to love. She had been told. And yet. In class they’d had to create an artwork for an essay. Radical reorienting received the highmost praise. Imaginative discovery do journalling and sudden unprecedable connections made across disciples segments inter criss cross medias cross trees ideas and confluence unexpected free expressions of a personal an interpration clearing to an outriver of union one passion poured thought. One girl had done silk acrobatics hanging upside down and pinioning her limbs and flowing silks around this axis, architrave so temporary sound. This girl turned silkened streamer topped the class. And so in life? Sometimes she wondered what, how far were they being truthfully taught, where were they being guided to apply these freedoms and these blinds? Were there no rules or inadvisabilities of imagination? No punishing, pitiabilities or shames for divesting from reality that’s not a pleasant paceful hum but’s restless wakeful tread? No downside to growing, being so rounded by, a wish and a dream? Was it so very different from all human’s next line hope? From populations’ annual plans furloughs escapes? Maybe the only criminality was. A too exact adherence to conceptions of what was and what would last what would survive. Maybe everything could arise. If only you. Could make your dream convincing one enough for one. Maybe you stood a chance persuading unifier of the universe to sow your one. To let one pass, hand to hand, to let one far flung nigh impossible impossible to let one squeak by the wheels of a roller-skate, to grant one noble flight, one great ungrave and long through arc enough embrace one much imagined hug in life to life mouth mouth to eye to eye to hand on hand on breast to thigh nor sigh to breath lip part to break the noise slice silently on high all passing by no need for other next or more only this sanctu-um one two two two on one this fertilled bliss this furlonged home be lust be life be liefed be lest and hoed hot hearth hard earth whole sun for lest relest we never come – Maybe this wanting was the reallest thing that was and all in it was spanned and summed.

Laura is an editor on the UNSWeetened team. 

Talica is an illustrator on the UNSWeetened team.