Wednesday, December 10, 2003

vignette: falling for gide

I remember that afternoon at the lake. Everything looked dull, the water was flat, and even the sun appeared as if it were strained through a veil. Everyone else had left, not bothering to see if sunset would redeem the dismal view.

Andre was standing at the water's edge, his feet half-submerged in the cold wetness. Even then he was tall, as if his body had a presentiment of his full adult extension; already, he was stooped, as if he somehow carried the burdens of his future self.

And even then I already loved him, though I didn't know it yet.

He held something in his hands, something I could not see.

"Look," he called to me, tilting his head to the left. "Look at this."

"What is it?" I walked over to his side, stepping into the water.

"See?" He held out a dead fish, dull as the sky, grey as the lake.

I looked at the umoving thing in his hands and said nothing.

"Did you know,'" he said, raising the fish to my eye. "Fish die belly upward, and rise to the surface."


"They do," he said, throwing it over the water as far as he could. "It's their way of falling."


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