Ineluctabilis by Peter J. Dellolio

I will leave the building with her. We will walk together for several blocks. It will be night. Before we leave, she will say something to me, she will make some remark about the tone of my voice. When I speak to her, the tone of my voice will have a certain effect on her, and so she will make this comment. As we leave the lobby of the building, I will notice that its beige marble walls have a faint glow. This will be the effect of a street lamp shining through the glass doors of the entryway

I am not speaking to her at this moment. I am going to speak to her.

After turning my head to the right, I will lower my eyes and see the bicycle that she will be wheeling alongside her. I will notice its two wheels. She will have painted the black rubber blue, for aesthetic effect. The black night will be filled with cool air. The blue wheels will appear many shades darker than they are. This will be caused by the numerous shadows the night will have cast upon us. The cool air will make me feel carefree and somber at the same time. This association between atmosphere and emotion will be unconventional. For the darkness of the night will give me a carefree feeling, and the coolness of the air will give me a somber feeling. She will glance at me from time to time. These glances will be unrelated to the movement of the bicycle she will be pushing alongside her, except of course for the contrast between the dark circular wheels and her bright round eyes, but I will not notice this contrast.

She is not glancing at me at this moment. She is going to glance at me.

It will not be late, but the streets will be empty. It will be quiet. For the most part, the only sound to be heard will be the softly squeaking wheels of the bicycle. I will have forgotten the sound of the door that will slam shut as we leave the lobby of the building. However, she will remember this slamming sound, because while we are walking, she will glance at the dim, empty doorway of an abandoned building, making a remark about how unusually quiet it is. I will feel particularly lighthearted if I too look into this doorway. The moment she turns to look towards it, a zephyr will lightly blow across my face, and thus I will suddenly be arrested by a desolate feeling. A huge flag will be attached to a pole protruding from the window of a building across the street. It will wave slowly and gently in the night air. By the time I notice this flag, we will have passed the abandoned building with its caliginous entrance, but the flag will continue to wave in the breeze.

It is not waving at this moment. It is going to wave.

When we reach the subway station, we will part. I will enter the station and board a train. She will begin to ride the bicycle home. Before we part, we will stop for a few moments by the station entrance. It will be located on the corner of a main avenue surrounded by traffic and pedestrians, and so the silence of the night will be gradually filled with the noisy sounds of traffic and talking people. From below us, in the underground tunnel, a chaos of vibrations, created by the parallel trajectories of many speeding trains, will suddenly emerge, and at this moment I will glance at the two blue wheels of the bicycle. She will be looking at me when I glance at the shadowy wheels. Her head will be positioned at an angle that will allow the whites of her eyes to shine very brightly. By this point, the air will be still, and the flag we will have passed will hang down limply, no longer waving. I will not see the flag in this state of immobility, but I will be reminded of its waving when I lift my head from the wheels and look at her. This reminder will be triggered by a cool gust of air, lightly blowing across my face just as I lift my head from the wheels in order to look at her. At this moment, a passenger sitting in one of the passing trains will glance at a public service poster for the homeless, displaying a photograph of a derelict building, glowing in the moonlight. When I lift my head and look at her, we will say goodnight. As I turn away from her and start walking in the opposite direction, I will glimpse a gleaming yellow taxi speeding behind her head from left to right. The streetlamp will no longer shine directly upon the marble walls inside the lobby; the glow of the taxi will diminish considerably as it falls under the shadow of a newsstand in a futile attempt to miss her. This attempt will indeed fail as the cab strikes her fatally during the moment she closes her eyes while waiting for the traffic light to change.

She is not closing her eyes at this moment. She is going to close them.

Copyright ©2023 Peter J. Dellolio All rights reserved

Peter J. Dellolio was born in 1956 in New York City. Went to Nazareth High School and New York University. Graduated 1978: BA Cinema Studies; BFA Film Production. Poetry collections “A Box Of Crazy Toys” published 2018 Xenos Books/Chelsea Editions and “Bloodstream Is An Illusion Of Rubies Counting Fireplaces” published February 2023 Cyberwit/Rochak Publishing.

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