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Day 5 – Prompted by The Wheel Inside the Wheel by Mary Gauthier

April 19, 2012

The Wheel Inside the Wheel by Mary Gauthier

The Wheel Inside the Wheel

Courtesy of Philip Koch Paintings

The room was bare and shabby and was next to the bathroom, but the window looked out onto the street where the fiesta would pass.  No air moved despite the noisy fan gazing blindly back and forth.

The woman ran water into a glass and drank it.  The man picked up his pants and searched for his cigarettes, then for matches.

“You want one?” he said, pulling on his pants


He threw her the packet.

The thrum of music outside grew louder.  She lit the cigarette and leaned out the window. People were gathering down below and the sounds of their conversations drifted up.

“We all have things in our lives we regret, Fi” he said and she shrugged without turning.  “You wouldn’t regret it, though.”

“Wouldn’t I?” her voice was muffled by the increasing noise below.

“It’s a small thing.”

“And then everything is back to how it was?”

“Of course. Why not”

She turned to look briefly back into the room, but his face was hidden by the shirt he was pulling on over his head. Outside, Elvis moved between the revellers selling cigarettes from a tray around his neck.  A seven foot clown leaned down to smile at a baby wearing little white shoes.  Fire eaters juggled flames. A mariachi band strolled past.

“Maybe it’s better to just leave things as they are …?”

“But you can make things straight. Don’t you want things straight again?”

The room grew still, and she knew he was watching her.  She shrugged again.

“I thought we were straight.”

A woman’s laughter floated up followed by a child’s red balloon trailing its cord.  Higher and higher until no-one could catch it.  A huge white elephant loomed on a trolley pulled by four bare-chested men.

“Can we get a drink?” she asked.

“OK, if that’s what you want.”  He came and stood behind her putting his hands around her waist.  She didn’t know if it was what she wanted.

One Comment
  1. good line- the noisy fan gazing blindly back and forth.

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