I turned on the lamp beside me. The room was large, furnished by a bed, a nightstand, and a bureau with a wide mirror. The walls were painted white and were unadorned. Above us, a ceiling fan rotated.
I looked at the mirror. At its surface, forcing my eyes to focus on its transparency.
Emily, next to me, began to hum. Fluidly, beneath her breath, thin strings of sound emerged. Beautiful, rare. I listened, stepping inside my listening, into her voice, her tone, into the substance of her tone, into the meandering substance of her flow.
A small line, finer than the finest hair on my body, appeared on the surface of the mirror. It was a dynamic line – it was not straight, not still. It began to grow into the glass, in length, in depth.
I moved my legs over the side of the bed. Stood, walked towards the bureau, focusing all of my attention on the fissure as it grew.
When I reached the mirror, I raised my left hand to touch it, but hesitated. I saw that it was trembling rhythmically. Pulsing.
“What are you looking at?”
I cringed, fearing her voice would shatter the moment. But the fissure remained where it was. I heard her get up from the bed and move toward me.
“What is that?’ she whispered.
“It’s… a crack.”
“No it isn’t.”
“Are you going to touch it?”
I felt as though I shouldn’t. I took her hand, pulled her close to me.
“Where do you think it comes from?”
“I don’t think it comes from anywhere. I think it’s just present, just here.”
“Nothing comes from nothing.”
“Maybe this is different.”
“Things don’t just come out of nowhere,” she insisted. I didn’t know what to say. We stood before the fissure for a while, watching it tremble, watching the faint dance of its trembling, watching it grow.
“You were singing in your sleep.”
“I wasn’t sleeping,” she answered.
“What were you singing?”
“What were you hearing?”
“Together? You and me together?”
“Do you think that’s where this comes from, this fissure, from you and me?”
“I don’t know. We are here, it is here, I’m not certain where any of us came from, but here we are.”
“Let’s touch it. Together.”
“I don’t think—“
“Touch it with me.”
We raised our free hands, extended our fingers, set their tips against the ends of the fissure.
It was cold, but living something vibrant.
“I think it goes somewhere,” she whispered.
“I think it is somewhere,” I responded.
I could sense her thinking this through. But I didn’t want her to think about it. I squeezed her hand.
“Let’s go through it.”
“No,” I said. “It’s not like that. It’s not like that at all. Watch.”
I concentrated on the tremble of the fissure, on its pulse. Gradually, I began to direct it up, off the surface of the mirror. Once it was in the air between us, I caused it to form into a ball. Once it had done so, I plucked it from the air and said
“Open your mouth.”
“You want me to eat it?”
“Yes. Take it into you.”
“Don’t worry. Open your mouth.”
She opened her mouth. I put the fissure on her tongue. She closed her mouth, and tried to swallow it. She doubled over and began to cough violently. I lifted her into the bed, laid myself out next to her, and turned off the light, holding her in my arms. She was trembling. Eventually her tremors subsided to a flutter, a subtle twitch like the surface of a pond. I stroked her hair and listened to the silence with her. The next morning, we left the house together.