"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

13 December 2011

Opal Labyrinth

Her hair was spiral sequins, which framed the face of porcelain doll. Eyes, the color of opals, took in every tiny detail. Her skin was bronze and copper with a hint of cream. She dressed in second-hand store eccentric and was possessed of the knowledge of thousands of lifetimes. When she spoke, her sing-song voice carried an accent of a faraway warm land, perhaps south of the equator, by way of the bygone European empire. Her scent was that of cinnamon.

I had occasion to talk to her in a coffeehouse as she puzzled and poured over Arabic poetry, trying to decipher the riddles she found therein. Her stories played out like untitled blues songs, sang in nameless and forgotten gin joints beyond the ends of the world. The very fabric of reality shifted around the table with every tale. Sometimes I caught myself being lost within the labyrinth of her gaze, not caring if I was found.

She seemed equally fascinated with my stories, though I didn't think any could compare. Perhaps it was the way I perched in my chair, or the simple fact of being something of a curiosity. Whatever it was, she listened with rapt attention, even saying she was hanging on my every word. At the time, I didn't care whether or not she was lying. She was exotic, and I can easily become entranced and fascinated by such things.

We parted ways under a full African moon. I never asked if I might see her again or sucked up the courage to even try to ask for a kiss. The very idea seemed impolite at the time. Perhaps somewhere, sometime, we'd run into each other again. Share more stories. Until then, there are the memories. A recollection of getting lost in a labyrinth of opal colored eyes.


  1. Very nice. Almost poetic, in fact. I wonder what "second-hand store eccentric" looks like. The rest of it, I think I can imagine quite clearly.

  2. Thank you. That line was inspired from more than one girl I've encountered whose been a thrift-store queen, and does it well.

  3. I'm a thrifter. It's a bad addiction.

  4. As most of my wardrobe has been garnered from thrift/charity shops around the globe, I had no trouble picturing second-hand eccentric, or forming beautiful images from your words.

    I loved this line: "Her stories played out like untitled blues songs..." You have a great knack for saying much with few words. Cool story.