Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sweater

It's been a long time since she needed winter clothes, but life has been so cold lately that even in the heat she wears long sleeves. Or maybe its just to hide her arms, cover the scars. She places the shirts on the shelf, turns to take the next pile out of the box. She inhales sharply, lets the air out with a sigh. She grabs the back of a chair and steadies herself.

Where did that come from? How in god's good name did that end up here? Whatever possessed me? I've moved so many times since then. At least a dozen times in the past year alone. From bedsit to short stay to extended stay to here, finally, a place that I can call my own and now this? WTF?

A sweater.

A fisherman sweater.

An old fisherman sweater of hers that he wore once.

Once.

Over twenty years ago.

It still smells of him.

She puts her hand on the sweater, still in the box and strokes it with her fingertips. Kisses her fingers, as if they had just touched the Torah, the holy book. She picks up the sweater so carefully, holds it to her cheek and closes her eyes. Leaning against the wall, time stops.

It still smells of him, of testosterone musk, faint tang of male. She swallows, hard. The lump in her throat makes it hard to breathe, hard to think.

It still smells of him. And she is back there, in that place, with him.

Oh god.

To be back there, back then.

Rubbing her face on it, inhaling him, feeling him, the texture of him on her skin, she shudders, remembering it all. Thinks, I can feel you, taste you, taste of your skin, your nicotine scented tongue against mine. I can feel you in me.

Oh god, I remember.

She slips her arms into that sweater he wore once and made his own. She pulls it down over her face, her neck. She smooths the soft cotton on her breasts that he touched, held, loved so long ago, so once upon a time, pulls the sweater all the way down to her hips. Puts her hands on her hips the way he held her, ground her into him.

Her hands trace the cables, in out, in out, in out. The yarn loops back upon itself. Time loops back upon itself.

She is back there.

She slides down the wall, only thing holding her up all this time, to the floor. Wraps her arms, her warm sweatered arms around her knees and buries her face in them.

She breathes him in, filling her lungs.

So long ago. Today. Now.


Nota Bene: In Judaism, there are specific rituals involved with reading from the Torah, the Old Testament. You are called to the bimah, the dais, and wrapped in a tallis, prayer shawl, recite a prayer thanking god for giving us the Torah (QED). The Torah is unfurled to the week's reading. Using a point (yad) or wrapping your finger in the tallis, you read. You do NOT touch the Torah. It is holy, not to be defiled by human contact. When you have finished reading, you recite a prayer again thanking god for the gift of Torah and for truth which grows in us by reading Torah (QFD). The Torah is then closed and dressed in an embroidered covering (mantle), a silver medallion (breastplate) is hung in the front and the finials (rimonim) are put on top of the protruding rollers. The Torah is carried through the synagogue. As it passes, the congregation touches the mantle or breastplate of the Torah with a prayer book or tallis wrapped hand. You then kiss the book or tallis. You kiss AFTER it touches, not before. Because human flesh, and especially the human mouth (te geulle) are unclean, profane and cannot come in contact with the sacred, the holy of holies.
She touches the sweater and then kisses her fingers. His body was her Torah, the sweater his mantle. She cannot touch him, but she can touch what once covered him.

http://scheinerman.net/judaism/synagogue/torah.html

2 comments:

luvskatz said...

still saying only good one is a dead one?

winged unicorn said...

yes. indeed.