She imagines him imagining her. This is her salvation.
In spirit she walks the city, traces its labyrinths, its dingy mazes: each assignation, each rendezvous, each door and stair and bed. What he said, what she said, what they did, what they did then. Even the times they argued, fought, parted, agonized, rejoined. How they’d loved to cut themselves on each other, taste their own blood. We were ruinous together, she thinks. But how else can we live, these days, except in the midst of ruin?
Sometimes she wants to put a match to him, have done with him; finish with that endless, useless longing. At the very least, daily time and the entropy of her own body should take care of it—wear her threadbare, wear her out, erase that place in her brain. But no exorcism has been enough, nor has she tried very hard at it. Exorcism is not what she wants. She wants that terrified bliss, like falling out of an airplane by mistake. She wants his famished look.
The last time she’d seen him, when they’d gone back to his room—it was like drowning: everything darkened and roared, but at the same time it was very silvery, and slow, and clear.
This is what it means, to be in thrall.