novella contd.

 Cement Cities


We live in a cement city. The cement buildings grow from the cement ground, and even the silver-green potted olive trees sway with a dull cement shine. Sometimes we look out the glassmetal windows of the seminary to see a pigeon flutter onto the sidewalk. Then only its greenish pink shining throat is visible through the grey.


When the giant mesh-speakers toll eight o’clock, I do not move to get up for dinner. Instead I wait by the window and watch the blue woolen flood of students pour through the doors of the three buildings. I look for your curly blonde head in the mass of dark blue coats and find you pushing through the door of the Metaphysics building toward the Ontological west wing where I sit and watch. I grab my coat and head out to you. You toss me a pack of cigarettes and kiss me tightly on the mouth. You smell like soap and laundry detergent and cigarettes. We walk past the cubic fountain that regulates the irrigation of the seminary orchard and head back to our apartment three streets over. Exhausted by the weight of education and the long trek up the three-story cement staircase, we enter our room, slip out of our coats, and eat a cold dinner of bread, fingerling potatoes and dry gin.


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