Jenny sits on the edge of invisibility.
Had she the courage to tilt the chair back on two legs she could topple over, tumble down into Never-never land where surely she belongs. Most cover nakedness with speech, much garbled messes, anything to fill the gap; but words elude her, arrive when the moment has passed. Jenny seeks refuge in invisibility.
The air is thick with words. Back and forth across the table they fly, ciphered volleys hurled by lips that never still. Jenny has long since given up trying to make sense of anything, takes her lead from the others, moving her head in unison to each speaker in turn, mimicking their expressions, laughing as they laugh.
The knowledge of not being as them, of not belonging, is in the dimension of reality; the edge of invisibility protects, had slipped automatically into place at Alycia’s opening words.
“Katie, my new neighbor. Just got in town. You don’t mind me bringing her to our weekly get-together?” The ‘get-together’ was news. A shopping trip, Alycia had suggested, and afterwards.. some patio mochas. Back and forth the heads move, back and forth with the perfection of synchronized swimmers. And were it not for the edging in of occasional bitchiness, most of the smiles would similarly resemble aquatic art.
The lips mesmorize, shrink four faces to blank frames, an anonymous canvas celebrating the glory of sculptured completion. Even at rest there are ripples, shimmering strokes beneath curve upon curve, waves of sound. Swivel. Peach Haze. Soft, smart, dreamy, a gentle swell in practiced harmony. No surprises, no dangers. Easy, effortless satisfaction.
Turn. Damson Crush. Pendulous, pouting. Winding curves without roots. Mountains to scramble up, valleys to sink into.
Swivel. Wild Grape. Irregular, irreverent. Seeking the outrageous, the unpredictable; fleeing banality.
Turn. Cinnamon Frost. Controlled precision; a delicate parting, meeting, parting. And yet barely glimpsed shadows brawl, swirling attendance on glowing embers.. awaiting the unwary.
Returning home, Alycia’s voice betrays Jenny’s relief.
“They liked you…”
She liked them.
“Angela was fascinated by everything you had to say.”
Ah, Angela—Cinnamon Frost… But she’d hardly spoken?
“It was what you had to say. Not how much.”
Jenny smiles softly.
There’s always a small place somewhere; for those who sit on the edge of invisibility.