May 2023



Arthur Danin Adler

    Once a girl I knew, all alone and unprepared.
    Everyone she knew, running scared.

He wasn't an old man. She wasn't an old woman. They were rather young in this time of 50 is really 40.Yet... one day, he couldn't remember his name. It went on for days. And then... she couldn't remember hers. They simply could not remember their own names. It was mildly disturbing like a wind in the house with all the doors and windows shut.

So... each wrote the other's name on a paper bracelet and wore them all day and all night. The wind was still there. Her name on his bracelet was "Lyri". He didn't know if this was actually her name because she didn't recognize it. To help her, he switched bracelets. Now the name on his bracelet was still "Lyri". The wind continued to blow.

    Then she found him or maybe he found her.

They had been together, married nearly fifteen years. They had no children and little contact with any family since they lived on the other side of the country, a side their sparse families seldom if ever visited. Together. They lived together alone. She had some money, no need to work for a living. Neither did he. Together they could not think of any problems they had in the bedroom or the bathroom or on the porch when the summer nights were soft and the trees wind-talked to each other.

Still... this blankshot of memory when each reached for "my own name", this absence of a title card in front of remembered identity, this was more than mysterious, more than unbalanced. He became uneasy, uncentered, undoing. He shifted his balance in front of a mirror for long minutes, staring at his face, staring at the bracelet on his wrist, holding it up in front of the image in the mirror. He heard her whisper, stop, it doesn't make any difference does it? He looked at his wrist and said, no Lyri, it doesn't.

They had a large garden. They gardened together. When the plants emerged and spread, they walked together, strolling the lanes of the garden, unnavigated, unplanned walks. If she stopped what she was doing in the house to walk in the garden, he would stop what he was doing and catch up to her, walking along. If only they could remember their names. Being alone would not flush the skin from flashes of caution.

     His were gentle words she had never heard before.

It rained one day for long hours. When it finally lifted, the house was costumed with water-drop jewels that rolled, slipped, lingered especially on the windows. They stayed in bed together during the long hours, half asleep, half awake. Smoothing his hand over her warm skin he said, I don't really know who you are. Look at your wrist, she said. I mean, he said, without your name I see a deep part of you that I don't know.

It wasn't the same for her. She knew him... from his eyes down through his belly, down to the rounded edges of his toes. She knew his moods, his desires, his comforts, his often sleepless sleep. She knew him like she knew the plants in her garden, down to the roots, always searching for light, always searching for moisture, always waiting to be consumed. And she knew... what he didn't know.

    He said, listen to me, don't you know where you belong?

Love... sensual love, emotional love, love of body, love of mind. He loved her all, all. She loved him all, somewhat all. Once she asked him, what causes this unthinking attraction, this hypnotic pull toward one person. It's complex, he said, it lays deep in the river of our evolution. Deep in her river, deep in her evolution she could not find it. Can you have it for more than one at the same time? He didn't answer.

They were happy on their wedding night, and every anniversary of that night. Now a another anniversary was coming and they could not remember their names.

    Darling, you can tell me, You've been silent for too long..

He said, I will give you everything I have. She said nothing, only smiled. He said, I'll give you everything that is me and take everything that is you. There will be only... we, and no one else will ever be part of we. One day we will fall asleep together and never wake up. Her smile faded. She said, that means we would cross from white to black… no shades or colors in between. He smiled and said, the most dangerous expense of life.

    Once a girl I knew, all alone and unprepared.

She touched the bracelet on her wrist.

Another anniversary. Today it is snowing, a fluffy, white cape on the ground, a necklace of glistening icicle jewels hanging from the trees and bushes, a faint trace of music in the wind-talking trees. She stands in front of the mirror whispering her name... 'Lyri'. He is sleeping. She walks through the rooms of the house, stops where he sleeps. The sun has quieted the snowfall. She wraps a warm shawl around her, drapes her bag over her shoulder and steps outside on to the white cape. She begins to walk through the sleeping garden, across the sleeping grass, on to the road. She looks back at the house then at the sun. She begins to walk down the road.

She never came back.

After one day, he went to sleep and never woke up again.


Share This Page

View readers' comments in Letters to the Editor


Arthur Danin Adler is a playwright, writer and the founding Editor of Scene4. For more of his commentary and articles, check the Archives.


©2023 Arthur Danín Adler
©2023 Publication Scene4 Magazine


torchsong1-cr90 Writings
Index of Danin Adler's
columns and writings in
Click Here for Access



May 2023

  Sections~Cover · This Issue · inFocus · inView · inSight · Perspectives · Special Issues
  Columns~Adler · Alenier · Bettencourt · Jones · Luce · Marcott · Walsh 
  Information~Masthead · Your Support · Prior Issues · Submissions · Archives · Books
  Connections~Contact Us · Comments · Subscribe · Advertising · Privacy · Terms · Letters

|  Search Issue | Search Archives | Share Page |

Scene4 (ISSN 1932-3603), published monthly by Scene4 Magazine
of Arts and Culture. Copyright © 2000-2023 Aviar-Dka Ltd – Aviar Media Llc.

sc4cover-archives-pic1Subscribe to our mail list for news and a monthly update of each new issue. It's Free!


 Email Address

        Please see our Privacy Policy regarding the security of your information.

Thai Airways at Scene4 Magazine