Author: Kievsky PM
Third and final in the "verbal portrait" series. This is Rote.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 321 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 02-18-03 - id: 1238703
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When winter casts itself over rural New England,
Rote smiles upon the whitened lakes, because it frees him of his tether to the water.
His liberty makes him smile, and his roguish grin
brightens even the dark clouds of theoretical mathematics.
But in the summerfrom the edge of the pier he executes
a perfect dive,
headfirst and backwards. He resurfaces laughing,
although the mossy water and lakeweed leave him soaked and slimy.
It does not faze him. Rote is immortal,
untouchable, and incorruptible.
Scott denies it, but then again, Scott lost to Rote at the
galleon vending machine.
They both used gold coins, but only
Rote got his candy. Scott pounded on the machine's apathetic plastic surface
until his voice gave out and his face turned red,
while Rote only chuckled and chewed on his Hershey bar.
When he falls asleep in English class, Rote has a dream
that he is wearing white trousers.
He dives into a murky lake headfirst and backwards, and even with his myopic vision
he can see something gleaming
through the gently swaying lakeweed. It is beautifully curved
and outlined against the sand.
He grabs for it when he pushes his fingers through the olive
silt, and from
the column of dissolute dust it jabs at his hand like a double-pronged knife.
Turning toward the refracted sunlight of summer, he powerfully
along a dowel axis path, to the light.
When he opens his eyes and his fingers the surface tension laps at his shoulderblades
and through the quartz rocks and silt a golden anchor gleams at him.
It shines like the greatest African jewel.
Rote throws his head back, far enough that he is floating on
his back and
holding the anchor to the sun, and he laughs.
He laughs like a boy in the summer.