Duration — a serial novella, part 12

Day Twenty Seven of Thirty Days of Writing

The rain begins to swell, my luggage is starting to drip so I head to the bar, along the way, an ominous fog is clogging the streets. The sign to Neil Eugene’s is neon, with an orange Tabby cat dressed as the famed Puss n’ Boots of lore. Replacing a feather in the swashbuckling cats hat is the Irish shamrock. I hesitate outside the door, the last time I was here, Ireland happened to be playing France for one of the final spots in the 2010 World Cup.

Looking at the shamrock in the orange Tabby’s hand, I can’t help but think of St. Patrick being brought to Ireland as a slave, from Britany, escaping only to return to convert the Celtic isles to Christianity and division. It’s sort of the same story for this country, foreign intervention shaping the course of Irish history: Calvinists, Huegonots, Jacobites, the British and Irish Home Rule not to mention the millions of Geese that fertilized the world during the various Irish diaspora. Where are there really such thing as border? It seems as if the entire world were interconnected in the most inconceivable of manners; as if the idea of the state, the nation, nationalism mere facades; false flags to deter from the truth of a universal family. Chloe loved Irish history…

Miguel leans over to Chloe and the two kiss. He sits up on the edge of the bed and takes a deep breath.

“What are you thinking about?” Chloe asks, as she stretches to the extent of her bodies length.

Miguel’s alarm goes off. He unlocks his phone, turns the alarm off and sets the phone back on the stand, he slowly lifts himself off the bed and stretches.

“Do you want something before I jump in the shower?”, he asks.

“You have more teaching experience now, you have a competitive application,” Chloe says, pulling the covers over her chest while siting up.

“It’s really NBD. If I don’t get in, I’ll try again next year,” Miguel replies

“Just, don’t be so hard on yourself. A lot of this is out of your control.”

“At least I have a good job.”

Miguel enters the bathroom and turns on the shower. Chloe makes her way to the dresser next to the night stand. Miguel’s phone vibrates and makes an audible alert that he has received an email. Chloe glances down and inadvertently reads the preview “Dear Mr. Hecheverria, we have had many competitive applications during…”

Chloe pauses to reflect. She returns to her dresser and gathers her things.

Miguel calls from the shower, “Do you want me to leave the shower running?”

“Uhh, yeah.”

Chloe pauses for a moment, thinking of what to say, she then enters into the bathroom, in a few seconds Miguel exits the bathroom. Miguel drys off, dresses and checks his phone. He winces for a moment and quickly locks the phone.

“Do you want mango with your waffles?” Miguel calls to the shower.

Chloe takes a deep breath, and yells back, “Yes, please.”

Miguel quickly dresses and heads to the kitchen. He removes all the ingredients for waffles and begins cooking.

Chloe takes longer than expected in the shower, gathering her thoughts. She turns off the shower, drys and rubs lotion on her body. She quickly dresses and makes her way to the kitchen.

“Are you still coming to my reading tonight?” she asks.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Miguel says as he serves the waffles and fruit on two plates. He then hands one to Chloe, and takes a seat next to her with his plate. The two begin eating.

“What are you meeting with the dean about?”

“We have to review the data on student completion and success rates from last semester.”

“Exciting stuff.”

“What is on your schedule today?”

“I teach, then office hours, and then I am having coffee with Nadine,” Miguel says, and finishes his last bite and continues, “Do you know what you are going to read tonight?

“I think what I read to you last night,” Chloe says. She looks over at Miguel who is staring out of the window.

Hesitantly “Did you check your email this morning? Any word?”

“Nothing,” Miguel says, placing his fork down.

Chloe winces, her chest slightly tightens. She searches for the words.

“Oh, well, I’m sure you will hear something by this week,” she pushes her food around the plate with her fork, “It’s almost April.”

“Yeah, I should get going,” Miguel says as he grabs his plate and places it in the sink. He walks over to Chloe who is not finished eating and gives her a bear hug. She rubs his back with a distant look in her eyes.

“I hope you have a wonderful day.”

“You too.”