Desert Rain / Part #2

This follows on from on yesterday’s post. The book will be written from several points of view; one of those belonging to Peter, Carol’s husband:

Carol’s in the bath again. I can’t exactly remember when this bath thing started, but it wasn’t all that long ago. Carol was always a shower girl and now, I don’t know why, she seems to be in the bath all the time. I can hear the steady drip-drip of the tap into the tub and can’t understand how this doesn’t drive her crazy. But that’s where we differ, where we’ve always differed. Carol is unencumbered by what I call the โ€˜finickies’, those small finicky things in life that I get all nit-picky over and she just shrugs off like they’re no bother at all. In-between admiring her for that, I seem to be in a constant state of agitation in readiness for the next dripping tap or squeaking door that I know won’t be silenced by anyone other than myself. Drip-drip Drip-drip. Drip-drip Drip-drip.
As I push open the door to the bathroom I am struck, as always, by her grace. She’s always had a litheness to her limbs that belies her age and to me she’s as beautiful as she was when I met her. Different to, but beautiful just the same. Her eyes are closed, book still propped up high in front of her face, giving her the appearance of a daydreaming student willing herself elsewhere, anywhere. My eyes follow the sweep of her breasts. Not follow. Absorb, gulp, crave. The curve of her waist is still small and the swell of her hips is round, rounder than it once was. Her thighs are so white they glow under the water and I can see the veins and the pockmarks snaking down one side. To me, a roadmap of our child, our lives, our history; to her, ugliness to be hidden, hated, denied.
Her eyes fly open as if she can feel me eyeing the one spot she wishes she could hide from the world. Her eyes are accusatory, pleading, hurt.
“What is it?”
She tried not to sound annoyed. She failed.
“I just wanted to turn the tap off properly.”
Her stare is so steely it cuts through the steam rising around me. She turns, twists the tap hard and rolls her body away from me just that little bit, her eyes turning back to her book. Now I can see the curve of her arse and in spite of (or maybe in defiance of) her rejection I feel the beginnings of a hard-on. Rather than my usual retreat, I stand my ground, afraid but unwilling to move. Thirty seconds. Drip. Sixty seconds. Drip. Drip. She turns her head slightly, not sure if I’m still here.
She fades away, not of sure where to go now. Most likely she wants me to evacuate immediately and is unsure of how to make this happen without sounding too hateful. When did she start hating me? It seems like forever, but in reality it’s not much more than a few years.
“Sorry, just looking Car, you’re so beautiful.” Have always, will always tell her this. Even knowing the rejection that follows cuts like a saber, I still do it. I retreat before the rent of the blade nicks my soul.


Filed under Fiction, Love, My Book, Sex, Women/Feminist, Writing

19 responses to “Desert Rain / Part #2

  1. Simonne, I wanted to tell you about a fabulous book I’m reading right now (The Post Birthday World – Lionel Shriver) that speaks directly to the female experience of relationships. Very nicely written and so, so true.

    I feel sorry for Peter, and I wonder why Carol’s so angry with him (or if it’s herself she’s mad at).


  2. Oh thanks OB, will grab it.
    Yes, poor Peter, she is mad at herself, but he has some growing to do too..


  3. Growing – we all have room and, dare I say, the capacity for it. I hope that I always have room to grow and goodness knows, being five feet tall, I certainly could do with more inches – although, I’m pretty happy with my growth so far. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for sharing these passages with us Simonne.


  4. Thanks Ruby.
    I’m only about 2 inches taller than you, so I relate to that comment! We pack a punch though, right?!


  5. D. Peace

    Hey, more DESERT RAIN. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll read and comment when I get home from work. I look forward to it.


  6. Grace

    Wow…I think I’ve lived this exact scene, Simonne! You’ve captured the essence so beautifully, I could feel it. I would have been so annoyed at the interruption into my space, especially since it was so that Peter could control the situation (i.e., the dripping). Grrrrr


  7. …Look forward to it Peace.

    Grace, thank you, it’s great to know when you’re on track with something.


  8. poseidonsmuse

    Simonne – beautiful “Part-2” addition to Desert Rain. I can’t help but think Peter as a wandering nomad in a sense – the dripping water driving him insane as he treks (with parched lips) into Carol’s calming oasis.

    There is DeLiCiOuS tension in this piece….

    Thank you.


  9. D. Peace

    That was very good. I get the feeling Peter is a sensitive guy who is as easily reassured by Carol’s beauty as he is annoyed by the sound of dripping water. He sounds like he might he be something of a pill, but his description of Carol was really stunning… he must have a poet’s soul.

    Carol is obviously very attractive, but seems oddly perturbed. Why is she mad at Peter?

    Again, great stuff and I look forward to reading more. You have a real way with words, and I don’t say that to many people.


  10. I’ve gotten the feeling that Carol’s been raped and nothing is the same anymore. She can’t get clean, she can’t stand Peter or any man for that matter any more. She hasn’t told anyone perhaps and is trying to work through it – or maybe not trying to – just trying to forget.


  11. This will be interesting, seeing how you capture the voices of two people who see things so differently. An excellent start, that “why are two people who should be totally in tune missing the point so badly?” vibe feels awfully familiar from my own life.


  12. D. Peace

    RubyShooz – Has it been stated that Carol has been raped? Unless I missed it, no.

    Although you might be right about that. We’ll have to wait and see.


  13. D.Peace,

    No, it wasn’t stated but it’s just the feeling I got from reading the post.


  14. PM – Thanks and so glad you picked up on the metaphor/theme running through in such a short piece – well done! The desert/flood/rain analogy will run through the book and will obviously be very connected to the land (Australia) and the inner landscape of Carol.

    Peace – Appreciate the compliment very much, thank you. Yes, why is she mad at him, indeed?!

    Ruby – Interesting! More of a metaphorical rape – and certainly in keeping with some of the themes in the book – ie the rape of the land and its original inhabitants. Nice pick up!

    Angry – Nice to have you here (always nice to have the odd celeb around!), thanks for joining us. That vibe of two people so enmeshed so totally missing the point is something that completely fascinates me.


  15. Pingback: Desert Rain / #3 « Cliterary Fiction

  16. chughes

    Do men actually think like this?

    It’s strange, all the misunderstandings and defenses cause rifts in relationships. You’ve captured the inability to be straigtforward with each other. Also, how the ideas of attractiveness differ between men and women. My husband says i’m beautiful in the mornings, my scraggly hair, mroning breath and crusty eyes. It’s hard to believe, but i love the man for it.


  17. Christine – Your hubby obviously knows what he’s talking about, no point in questioning him! ๐Ÿ™‚


  18. For me, Peter was merely there to provide me with more insight into Carol.
    His behavior, the annoyance with the faucet, his need to go into the bathroom without asking if he’s disturbing her, etc. almost foreshadows some of the problems I feel she may be having with herself and her vagina.
    Also great sexual tension there between both of them, men and women fight more in a relationship when the sex has dwindled. Reading on….


  19. Kim, that pretty much is his involvement here; that’s precisely what I needed him for, if you know what I mean? How very insightful of you.


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