Jigokudani mon amour by Guy Yasko
He watched the snowflakes land in her hair. They lasted just long
enough for a layer of snow to collect. A parallel layer was building
in his. She had her arms around a rock. He sat against the rocks at
the pool’s edge, only head above hot water. Their faces were wet with
steam and melted snow. Neither moved. Neither wished to. Together
they watched the snow fall. The gorge was more than silent.
She looked miserable. He decided there was a pathos in the way she
clung to the rock in the middle of the pool, that to cling to a rock
is inherently sad because that is what shipwrecked sailors do. Her
eyes seemed almost tearful. Had today been a bad day? He wanted to
ask, but that was out of the question. Her hands were mottled, but he
wouldn’t have called her old. It was the nature of her hands.
Perhaps he was reading suffering into her features. What did she read
in his? What does a monkey see in a man?