Tuesday night at the co-op. Always great. Marina makes curry. She knows how to do it. She waits til the coriander pops in the ghee before adding the coconut. It’s so good. Nobody has band practice, there are no parties, and nothing’s ever due on Wednesday. So everybody’s at the table.
Corner a co-oper across town and get an earful of jouissance. Sequestered together over a meal though, their conversation is less trangressively gleeful having more to do with things that just are, or might be, or might not be.
This Tuesday was different. The collective silence served an imaginary side dish of the symbolic order. It was the first time they’d all sat down since the thing with the thrones.
Let me back up. The guys play basketball all the time over there. It’s the one activity that cuts as finely down gender lines. There’s a hoop out back and it gets a lot of use. Usually after dinner a ball gets tossed around and just as usually, girls are out there, smoking tobacco or pot, taking in the sport and their cohort.
Last Thursday Shelly holed herself up in the garage all day making an Hephaestian racket. You don’t mess with Shelly when she’s got a circle saw in her hand, and not just because she’s probably got a joint in the other. She’d be stoked if you popped in on her to chat. It’s not that. It’s just, you know, typically, people allow her some space when she works like this.
That night, after a meagerly attended supper of red beans and rice with purple slaw, jalepeño cornbread, cashew sour cream, and green salad with radishes and lemon pepper vinegrete, followed by maple pecan trifles, and digestive shots of homemade absinthe bitters, the five in attendance went out for some air and to take up a game of one-on-one.
Elias and Sam shot for the ball. Elias – brick. Sam – swish. Sam’s ball. Elias retrieved it and underhand hook-passed it back in a curated but more or less genuine non-chalance. Sam dribbled twice to the top of the invisible key and checked it back to Elias.
“Wait,” commanded Shelly from the back porch. The ball went under Elias’s right armpit.
“What’s up Shell?”
At the edge of the riser, a surface tension between moments deflected the force of their strides, indefinitely extending the quantum threshold perpendicular to time.
She didn’t answer but paraded past them straight down the center of the court, to the garage door, where she bent down from the waist and grabbed the handle. She wasn’t wearing underwear. The boys liked that but also took it as a kind of “fuck you” so they never acknowledged it, even to each other.
Without a grunt the stuck old noisy door went up to reveal a 4′ deep by 20′ wide by 2′ high wooden platform with seven intricately carved and painted vaguely Indonesian by way of Arsgaard thrones on top. Shelly stepped up, sat in the second seat to the left, an ornate flaming construction of teal striped and fire stained twirling spires rising at the corners, and motioned to Laura, Bea, and Mandy to join.
At the edge of the riser, a surface tension between moments deflected the force of their strides, indefinitely extending the quantum threshold perpendicular to time, but the girls played on and once all four women had taken there places Bea intoned meekly, “Begin.”