“You know, the ancient Babylonians had a thing for duality.”
She tossed her newspaper down and stood up to stretch. I always admired the way her body seemed to lengthen and uncurl somehow when she stretched. She thrust her arms into the air and stood on her tip-toes, momentarily making the shape of a girl-sized letter “Y”. Her back arched in an almost impossible way when she tipped her head back. She looked like she should fall over, but she never did.
Amy was the most graceful person I had ever met. I wished I could capture that grace on paper, but it was beyond me.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“The Zodiac is full of it. Tension and balance. Opposing forces.
Gemini’s twins locked in endless struggle for dominance. The scales of Libra balanced precariously against each other, good and evil matched perfectly. The fish of Pisces, one struggling upstream, thrusting its body through the world to get where its going. The other lazily drifting along with the current, going wherever its taken. Neither escaping the other.”
I thought about this for a moment while I scribbled a fish in the
corner of my sketchbook. I looked at it, imagining its upstream
plight. “I guess. Seems a bit hopeless, doesn’t it?”
She flopped down on the floor beside me and looked at the angular graphite fish I had drawn. She plucked the pencil from my fingers, and touched its tip against the paper. Her hand was gentler than mine, barely skating over the surface. The ghost of a fish, thin and spindly and beautiful revealed itself next to mine.
“How can it be hopeless if you’re never alone?”