A Small, Still Moment
Belomir is pleading, now, for the favor of a little pause: a drop of silence in which he may collect his thoughts. Such quiet exists, in the face of a mirror, when heís adjusting his morning face or combing through his ragamuffin hair, but he canít come by it now. Itís hard to breathe; the air is smothered in voices. Even on Samanthaís balcony, away from the thick of her party, he can hear them. They chatter. They laugh. It doesnít end. Thereís music, but he canít figure out whatís playing: something in English. Something American.
The need for air is as demanding as the need for quiet, and Samanthaís balcony offers a tiny measure of each. The dimming twilight is humid and still. There is no breeze. A riot of deep-crimson geraniums flower from ruddy clay pots on either side of the balcony.
He slides his feet out of his sandals and feels sun-warmed concrete beneath his naked soles. Something tickles the outer edge of his left foot and he glances down to see an earwig (more shadow than substance, but its rear-end pincers are unmistakable.) Pure and spacious silence wafts from the insect as it rounds the tip of Belomirís foot and nestles into the space between his left big-toe and its neighbor. He stands still, giving it shelter, and accepting its silence.