Transfarring

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datatime: 2022-10-04 06:10:55 Author:FvsFGEei

'You know, it's a funny thing,' he said. 'In all my years in California, I worked on many a house. And I loved them all. But none of them ever made me feel my mortality. They never made me feel small. This house makes me feel that. It makes me feel it because it is going to be here when I'm gone.'

She pressed herself more closely against Michael. She locked her hands behind his back, resting her weight against him.

'You know, it's a funny thing,' he said. 'In all my years in California, I worked on many a house. And I loved them all. But none of them ever made me feel my mortality. They never made me feel small. This house makes me feel that. It makes me feel it because it is going to be here when I'm gone.'

They turned and walked deeper into the garden, finding the flags in spite of the weeds that pressed against them, and the bananas that grew so thick and low that the great bladelike leaves brushed their faces.

The soft heavy smell of that flower came again, the one the old woman had called the night jasmine.

This long day in the balmy tropical city of old-fashioned courtesies and rituals had merely been the first unfolding. Even the secrets of the old woman were the mere beginning.

They turned and walked deeper into the garden, finding the flags in spite of the weeds that pressed against them, and the bananas that grew so thick and low that the great bladelike leaves brushed their faces.

He put his arm around her again, and she clung to him, nestling against him, and feeling him kiss her hair again. His gloved fingers touched her cheek. She wanted to rip off the gloves. But she didn't say so.

They turned and walked deeper into the garden, finding the flags in spite of the weeds that pressed against them, and the bananas that grew so thick and low that the great bladelike leaves brushed their faces.

'I've loved it ever since I was a kid,' he said. 'I loved it when I saw it two nights ago. I love it now even though I know all kinds of things that happened in it, even what happened to that guy in the attic. I love it because it's your house. And because... because it's beautiful no matter what anybody has done in it, or to it. It was beautiful when it was built. It will be beautiful a hundred years from now.'

The frogs were singing here, that loud grinding woodland song, and far away a bird cried in the night. Impossible to believe that streets lay near at hand, and that people lived beyond the trees, that the distant tiny yellow lights twinkling here and there through the glossy leaves were the lights of other people's houses.

'Stella built this,' he said. 'She built it over fifty years ago. It wasn't meant to be like this at all. It was a swimming pool. And now the garden's got it. The earth has taken it back.'

'I love you, Michael,' she whispered. 'I do. I love you.'

The soft heavy smell of that flower came again, the one the old woman had called the night jasmine.

She pressed herself more closely against Michael. She locked her hands behind his back, resting her weight against him.

The frogs were singing here, that loud grinding woodland song, and far away a bird cried in the night. Impossible to believe that streets lay near at hand, and that people lived beyond the trees, that the distant tiny yellow lights twinkling here and there through the glossy leaves were the lights of other people's houses.

She pressed her face against his shirt. She started to shiver as she had been doing on and off all night, and when she felt his arms come down tighter and almost hard, she loved it.

'I've loved it ever since I was a kid,' he said. 'I loved it when I saw it two nights ago. I love it now even though I know all kinds of things that happened in it, even what happened to that guy in the attic. I love it because it's your house. And because... because it's beautiful no matter what anybody has done in it, or to it. It was beautiful when it was built. It will be beautiful a hundred years from now.'

'You know, it's a funny thing,' he said. 'In all my years in California, I worked on many a house. And I loved them all. But none of them ever made me feel my mortality. They never made me feel small. This house makes me feel that. It makes me feel it because it is going to be here when I'm gone.'

This long day in the balmy tropical city of old-fashioned courtesies and rituals had merely been the first unfolding. Even the secrets of the old woman were the mere beginning.

'That's the smell of summer nights in New Orleans,' he answered. 'Of walking alone, and whistling, and beating the iron pickets with a twig.' She loved the deep vibration of his voice coming from his chest. 'That's the smell of walking all through these streets.'

The soft heavy smell of that flower came again, the one the old woman had called the night jasmine.

She pressed her face against his shirt. She started to shiver as she had been doing on and off all night, and when she felt his arms come down tighter and almost hard, she loved it.

She didn't answer. She didn't confess this dark fear that they weren't going to survive, that somehow everything that had ever given her consolation would be lost. And then she remembered the old woman's face, upstairs in the death room where the man had died years and years ago, and the old woman saying to her, 'You can choose. You can break the chain' The old woman, trying to break through her own crust of malice and viciousness and coldness. Trying to offer Rowan something which she herself perceived to be shining and pure. And in the same room with that man who had died, bound helplessly in that rug, while life went on in the rooms below.

'I love you, Michael,' she whispered. 'I do. I love you.'

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