Blue Photographs

January 17, 2007 at 11:13 am (Surrealist Anthology)

Erich Cohn

There are blue photographs in a book you can only purchase at night from an old man who stands outside the closed doors of a battered, white monastery. You take the book home and show it to your wife who is unimpressed.

“It is very strange and full of death,” she says.

You start to explain to her what the pictures mean but lose her in the crowd of people who have slowly been filtering into your living room holding cocktail glasses and laughing to each other. You recognize your high school girlfriend who is sitting quietly by herself in a corner. She is beautiful. You walk over to talk to her and show her the book you have found. She wants you to take her to the monastery where you bought it. You would like to but don’t remember how you got there.

Then you find yourselves in the basement and start walking through a passageway that leads into a bare shrine room. It is very damp and musty like a crypt. You look at your girlfriend and want to tell her how much you love her but she is frozen pointing to an entryway across from you where a headless monk is standing quietly in front of deep maroon curtains.

“We can go back now,” you tell her.

She nods and you are back in the living room where the party continues. A thin Chinese man is tugging at your sleeve wanting to talk to you, but the party is too noisy to hear what he’s saying. Your girlfriend has left and your wife is gone too. A tanned young woman is starring at you from across the room. You walk toward her and slide your hands under her shirt and over her breasts. She jumps back because your fingers are as cold as ice.

“I’ve been downstairs,” you say by way of explanation.

She doesn’t seem to understand. You start to unbutton her skirt but she stops you. “There are too many people here,” she says. You look for somewhere to go and realize that it has gotten light outside and the images in the room are blurring. “I don’t want to leave now,” you tell her. She laughs, “You can’t do anything about that.” It’s true. The light pouring in from all sides is unstoppable.

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