A Career Driven Woman
Matthew Vasiliauskas | Lakshmy Mathur
She felt like melting.
A reflective, oil-stained swirling puddle lifted from the hot summer drenched blacktop of a Nebraska driveway.
She had often been shy of melting, feeling self-conscious and inadequate in the presence of peers who could melt in ways that were arousing, flesh shivering and sprouting a light that would insert itself into the white of passing car windows, dried mud splashes forming glass-scapes stretching endlessly into horizons where watery eyes waited.
California was the perfect place for melting, and if one was poised and disciplined could achieve quite the career from it.
She educated herself on the buses and subways, following trails of sand leading to sneakers and boots that would tap out the exciting language of scent, metal, perfume and apron grease speaking of the day and its aching muscles, soaking in the warm pools of flickering light and tunnel drone, a healing cleanse sending sleep and paranoia crawling towards the sidewalk drains.
The doctor of an uncle’s friend told her she was soft, but could be softer, and suggested sitting in a steambox in her backyard for the next three weeks, day and night, so that the flesh would drip and hang, suspended raindrops of sweat-drenched silk beating like fruit hearts hanging from a tree of smoke.
Eventually she got a reoccurring spot on a daytime soap playing a preserved cup of spilt coffee kept in a ceramic bowl and carried around by an actor in all his scenes.
She enjoyed his touch and would ripple with every shake, trying to mimic his voice, and imagined them shimmering together into nothingness.