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Blue Angel
by Elliott Silver (

Every move you make,

Every breath you take,

I’ll be watching you.

If you had been Icarus, you would not have fallen.

You cast your arms outward, plumed pinions, from the ether-like troposphere of your velvety-upholstered couch. Your body banks, tilting laterally as you turn over, as if shifting weight was a highly precise stunt maneuver. You unfold with an elasticity, and an innate elegance, that is staggering.

From nearly three thousand miles away, I watch.

Your erstwhile guardian, your keeper. Your mere distant lover. Though you do not know it.

All I can think is, you seem to defy logic. Science. Gravity. Every legal and illegal law I know.

It is as if you are in flight, however that may be possible. It is as if you sustain self-powered motion through the heavy humid air of your AC-less home. On the tangled shambles of your makeshift bed you seem to soar and glide with each lift and fall of your lungs. In gliding, holding your outstretched wings still and relying, trusting, the momentum to keep you aloft. In soaring, using the warm air currents to lift you up and above.

From weather radar, I know a heat wave has descended on your part of the country, settling there for a good long stay. Temperatures in the three-digit range have plagued you for days now. And darkness is no cooler, brings no more relief, than day.

So even in flight, you are not free.

You roll sideways, completely, indescribably languorous, and lay on your back, staring unseeingly at the ceiling, one arm curled protectively around your head. It is several hours into the new heat and you have still yet to find solace.

Sweat glosses your skin, dampens your hair, beads watery pearls along the contours of your face. Even from three thousands miles away, I can see each line of your body, each nuance of your expression. Welcome to the world of high technology.

For once, I seem to have put one thing I developed into good use.

The couch is an amalgamation of human and non-human forms and voids, of darkness and shadow and light. In one quick motion you yank the thin camisole sleep-top over your head and discard it carelessly, hatefully, onto the floor, leaving you clad only in your underwear. The backwash sends me into an internal spin from which I might not recover.

I know now that you do not know. I know now that you are oblivious to the fact that the Centre has sixteen separate angles of surveillance on you. I know now your heat, your seventh circle of hell. There is no place for you to hide. No possible escape.

The agony of your unknown persecution is my salvation. Tonight I am completely and unrepentantly selfish. Tonight I have abandoned every last shred of benevolence. Tonight I altered the camera feeds. Tonight, if only for tonight, you are entirely mine, mine and mine alone. Tonight, tonight I am the only one who can see you.

See each line of your body, etched in monochromatic StarTron night vision.

And even if I was color blind, I could still see you.

For, even in flight, I could see you are not free.

My chest constricts, as your twist and writhe against the binding, chafing invisible chains.

You are flying with broken wings.

And I want to set you free.

I reach out hesitantly, my fingers trailing oily slipstreams against the slick screen of the monitor. Static, jarring sticky static, impales my hand. And then a thrust, a sudden uncertain puncture, as if plastic technology has metamorphosed into living flesh, morphed into malleable skin.

As my finger rubs the plastic protrusion, you move. Against me, into me, my touch halfway across the world.

Coincidence, I tell myself shakily, my breath and heart erratic.

I slide up the back of your knee and you slip onto your slide and curl backwards.

I graze the edge of your shoulder and your muscles flex.

I massage the edge of your back and you shiver.

Suddenly I have become your pilot, flying your body with well-known yet unknown avionics. Suddenly I am your erstwhile guardian, your keeper. Your mere distant lover.

It must be the heat. But I can’t resist. I can’t fight you. I touch the lines of your arms, feathered and weighted with wet dew. I brush the slivered strands of your dark hair. The dark etchings of your shoulders. The flat planes of your stomach. The endless, mind-numbing length of your legs.

This vision is as insubstantial as the wisps of clouds in the night sky. Clouds that can brew devastating storms and wreak havoc and chaos and obliterate all vision. Clouds that were nothing more than water and air. It wasn’t the individual components that mattered: it was what they became together.

You tremble.

I tremble.

You shiver.

I shiver.

Whatever modem we dialed, the connection has been established. There is, was, and always has been this permanent connection.

And we fly. Glorious flight.

Our wings stroke backward on the upstroke and forward on the downstroke. That motion pushing air downward and to the rear, creating a lift and forward thrust.

We fly.

We escape. If only for the moment.

And eventually we must land. The questions, the skepticism, remain. Do we crash? Did we burn? Will we fall?

Do we believe?

You sit up on the bed, restless, exhausted. Your body is sweat-slick, glossy on the computer image, and oh-so-hauntingly mind-bending beautiful. Gossamer and tensile, transparent and vulnerable, resilient and resolute. Satisfied and sated, I think, although that could just be me.

You disappear from the room as suddenly as thunderstorms cascade on the horizon and somehow vanish from all sixteen camera feeds.

You escape.

You fly.

And if you had been Icarus, I know you would not have fallen.

Because I can catch you. I would not have let you fall. I will not.

But I wonder, where will you go? Where will you go now?

My cell phone detonates, my heart slightly asynchronous, penetrated with a sharp piercing stab of adrenaline. I unfold it without due caution and bring it to my ear. The voice is a slow, sleepy, seductive mix.

"I can feel you."

And I know, it is never about simple single components. It is about solace, and what they can become together.

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