she was riding him as she would the black
horse of betrayal, and he was riding her away
from his own betrayal from which
he had run to her
and she had wept, knowing that he had broken their rules, and that there was no choice left for her but to leave him, now. she wept because she did not want to, this time. yet even now, she can hear it go off like a shofar–the sound of some yawning precipice that draws her as if she had been fashioned and programmed to respond unquestionably. she has never ignored the calls to betrayal, (which may border on the only religious experience she has ever known) but she had always hoped to someday be free of them. she was tired. she longed to betray her betrayals, and in so doing, stay. but she lacked the will, or the freedom to ignore the din as it bombarded her to do what, she conjectures, she does best.
he returned to her flat three days later, and watched the men carry out her things: the day bed (no, she had corrected him. it had been her grandmother’s, and a she had called it a fainting couch), the paintings of Socialist Realism were paraded in front of him in descent, travelling down the stairs, one after another–soulless pictures of buildings and soldier-liberators, and then last the one, the one she kept hidden, where the “accidental” drop of red paint had turned the realist city landscape into a backdrop hiding some fervent dream, maybe. or so she had once said? my God, what is happening? the standing mirror, the old hatbox, and the pewter bookends all moved away from him as he stood quietly on the stairs. he made his way into the front door–the large, circular bed that had been the focal point of her studio, was gone. the space looked enormous. he asked one of the men for a forwarding address–where were they taking her things? sorry, but we have strict orders not to reveal the address.
he understood now why she had wept when he told her he had left his wife. she was not weeping for happiness. she did not ride him into the night in a fever and with tears of ecstasy–he understood now, that she had been saying goodbye. suddenly the rifts of misunderstanding–even those born of small words, interminably misunderstood–openly lined up before him in order to show him that in fact, he knew nothing. he knew nothing at all, besides that he would never see her again. he paused to lean over the railing of the stairs near the door, and evacuated his stomach on the ground a story below, narrowly missing two of the moving men. the man who had spoke stopped abruptly, and widened his eyes. Franz slowly crept down the stairs and passed the hatbox, the mirror, and the painting with the red bolt, before he began a slow walk down her street. (her street!)
in his mind he would follow her. his new and seemingly bizarre or arbitrary behavior could always be explained by his marriage to her memory, and whatever he was able to immortalize about her before she disappeared. he continued to live his life under the cult of her, while she continued to live under the cult of betrayal, away from his eyes, and will live this way without ever having known that he had personally venerated her and lived the rest of his life in search for the approval of her invisible but omnipotent eyes that he imagined, were somehow fixed on him. but, these eyes were not on him. they were instead eyes
that looked at slabs in graveyards that cover the ground over the dead saying: we don’t want you coming back. so, eyes that see her betrayals and see her death—that only can see a vast life of loneliness, in which she will die alone and be covered in concrete as they say: stay where you are. we don’t want you coming back. but no one would know her then, or even care for her to come back. she shivers when she thinks of these covered graves that had filled the cemeteries of Austria.
her invisible eyes brought him into Cambodia. he would face off with the Khmer Rouge and win the approval of her invisible eyes. he would fall into a hole and succumb to internal bleeding. he would die in a hospital in Austria with his wife next to him–the woman he loathed most, of all women–as she tells the doctor yes, he’s mine. he’s my husband. his life fades out here, as a black window slowly closes around the eyes of his wife, and not the invisible eyes of Sabina, with the eyes of his wife burning into him with victory and obstinate pride. and, after this window had closed, all of the observing eyes, were now finally shut tight–stripped of all their respective missions.