The Continuum of Flames

by Ivan Reyes

Molly was from dull and wet Kansas City, Missouri, where she learned to pass the time in the many record shops and bars that lined it's inconspicuously storied streets, catching the attention of a young red blooded all American Kansas City man, from time to time. Most of them she found dreadfully boring (their stories would kill on the river Styx, she thought to herself) and after they were done doing what they were doing, she began to yawn and if they didn't get the clue from her quickly enough for her she'd tell them, in an incongruously girlish tone, "Alright, enough's enough, go on, time for you to go." 

She met Jack in college, and she found him marvelously insane, absolutely drag out devil crazy. She didn't know what put the devil in him, but for the love of the whole world she didn't want any thing to ever take it out of him. He'd show up late to class and argue with the professors, sit down soaking wet in a t-shirt and leather jacket, with the words "Electric Convulsions" embroidered across his back in big, cursive letters, and in smaller font on the right breast. She loved that jacket. And he'd sneer and scoff. And he'd mumble the most wonderful obscenities under his breath, though she heard every single one, and her mind raced as if she were being privy to the most pure poetry on the planet, and she'd imagine him taking her as in one of those rebel pictures; all violence and cigarette smoke and motorcycles rumbling in the distance and a piss stained alley. And he'd so piss off the professors and all the more because he got all A's on every test, it was as if they were incensed at their own inferiority. 

And one day he drove up in his big black Chevrolet, and parked it and walked into a bookstore where she was, and she still remembers what he said to her, but before doing that he pulled a pile of books into a small plastic basket -- Proust, Shakespeare, Stoker, Euclid, Plato, Newton, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Balzac -- and bought them all, and looked at her and she blushed and her hands started to get clammy and she only breathed through her nose, and she clutched onto a volume of Hugo, and he stepped down four stairs, and pulled out a black, thin toothed comb and dragged it as time through timelessness, across his hair. And he said "You read any other Frenchies?" She shook her head. Jack looked through his leather satchel that he used for school and pulled out his freshly purchased Proust, and he handed it to her and said "Ain't no better Frenchie than Proust, baby, I'm telling you. You read Hugo, your heart turns, you read Proust, your soul jumps for joy inside your body so much that you can feel your rib cage rattling and your DNA rearranging itself." "That's big talk," she said. He said "You'll see." 

In two weeks, she finished the Proust, and she didn't quite agree with him, although, something was lifting her spirits. In class she approached him, and asked him to join her for coffee so they could talk about Proust. He smiled a big smile under effulgent eager eyes, and said "Sure thing, honey." 

Two weeks after that, they were an item. He finished law school and she dropped out. Then they moved to California and got married, a big wedding, under a happy, gigantic, yellow sun. The cool pacific wind swept through the hill where they married, every one had cake. Every one was happy and time stopped to admire the binding of two dignified and distinguished family trees and when the sun set, everyone was full and their shadows were long and time resumed. Yet, for Jack and Molly it would remain still and eternal. 

It collected as if in to a neat, memorial corridor. And as Molly was fixing herself to fuck Jack, this subconscious sea of happiness ebbed and splashed and frothed and rose and lived in mythical moonlight, within. Jack walked through the door, "Hello," she said