The Linnet's Wings Summer 2014 - Page 23

the centre of the little room expanded. Saul ground his teeth briefly and took a deep breath. ‘And Agnon read Cervantes who read Shakespeare. And someone will read my books and write a story that will influence...’ Emily raised her hand and began opening and closing it slowly, mimicking a mouth. Saul sighed. He wished the room had another chair. She rested her elbow on the edge of the desk and swung the chair gently from side to side, her legs wide. Saul was far enough from her now that he could see most of the way up her skirt. ‘Right, right. It’s all interconnected in a huge wanking mass of self-congratulation. The problem, genius, is that a book is like a ringing telephone. And no one picked up your last two efforts. All they are now is paper.’ Her words climbed up inside Saul with hammers and razor blades and took to him from the inside out. He stole a breath and shuffled before her. ‘That doesn’t matter. The simple expression… The very act … Language, Emily, is the only thing we can be absolutely sure is real, because it’s the only thing that is one hundred per cent subjective,’ he said, remembering a post-it. Even as he said it he felt ridiculous, like he was perched on a ledge halfway down a cliff face. Emily rolled her eyes and leaned back in the chair. ‘You know how many creatures there have been on this planet since it came into being, Saul?’ She took a drag on her cigarette, pausing deliberately to swing the chair provocatively from side to side again. Saul visualised fucking her with his fist in her mouth. He wanted to sit but had nowhere to go. ‘You’re fifty six years old, for Christ’s sake,’ she said. ‘Who do you think you are?’ Saul puffed up. ‘I am…’ He faltered, and took a breath. ‘I, Emily, am…’ He had nothing. ‘You are,’ Emily said. She stood up and rested a hand on his shoulder. ‘Wow. You still got it, Saul.’ She leaned in and with the other hand tapped him on the balls so that he shuddered. ‘Indeed.’ She brushed past him towards the bedroom. He couldn’t help swivelling to watch. She swayed her full hips deliberately, and halfway there turned and began unbuttoning her blouse. ‘This all I'm good for Saul? Is