Through the dark, Gerard massaged the air around his wife’s body until he found her. She was motionless, almost unaware of him, until his hand landed gently against her skin. The sensation took her by surprise, and she twitched, but his other hand brushed against her hair and smoothed her down.
He could tell she was confused, but that would pass. One kiss later, she was relaxed. He’d just learned how to kiss. With a brief and warm exhale, life-affirming saliva blessed the back of her neck. She was silent. He touched her faintly, so that the dark was touching her and not his hands. As long as she was surprised and mostly unaware of his touch, her mind wouldn’t resist. Women are taught from a young age to deny pleasure, so he had found out.
“Where did you learn to be so sexy?” she asked in slow breaths. He didn’t want to answer, since he had an answer. Instead, he chose mock hubris.
He was born this way.
In school, he’d been ashamed to admit that he had studied for tests. He wanted to be the kind of smart that didn’t require effort. He did study, always after dark, usually alone. Sometimes with a friend. He was a good student.
His hands were magic now. His wife was in another world. She was cheating on him with that world. Someday, he swore, they would make love in the same room.
Amnesia wasn’t the issue. Ezekiel remembered the last five years down to the last detail. He had had jobs and relationships. That was all.
He was in an office now. Or he was undercover for special police. A reporter for a tiny newspaper in rural Arkansas. A bartender in a pansexual strip club. A line worker in a glue factory. He corrected a nozzle if it strayed off target. He was investigating a serial murder. He’d tell everyone. His boyfriend had no idea. His girlfriend knew everything. His gender-neutral playmate had no idea. His long-lost soulmate had no idea.
He had no idea.
A man on the train asked him, “Do you know how to get to The Glass Museum?” The man expected him to know, so he knew, but the man wouldn’t follow his instructions. Ezekiel repeated them slowly several times until they arrived at the stop where the man would need to leave. Ezekiel nearly had to push him out, but he wouldn’t find his way. The man was committed to being lost.
Ezekiel was more open-minded. He could ride the train, or he could ride the bus. He could ride a Greyhound bus to a place he had abandoned. He hadn’t had a job. He hadn’t had a relationship. He’d spent the last few years planning a better future, all alone, The Count of Monte Cristo without the money or moral imperative. He could get the money. He didn’t need justification.
In film, the screen blacks out and the characters return in the future, having done what they needed to do. The last five years were not forgotten. They were blacked out, and he would be whoever he had been. He would find out after the break.