Marnie

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Charles Elin

20 readings

3

Marnie liked melodies. In her city room facing nowhere, the routine was the same. At night, she sang naked out the open window. It was a way to get inside. A chorus, she thought, might feel the same. If only she knew the half of it. It was the harmony that got in the way. She felt it disorienting. It made her nauseous. Singing acapella is the height of pleasure, she heard how many times. Normality must be a joint sensation. And yet, her body had another idea. Marnie became physically excited by the blending of sounds. It happened during rehearsals and performances. Soon it brought her to orgasm, which made her feel ashamed. She learned to hide her condition in the raised volume of the chorus. One evening, on the subway ride home, Marnie hung onto a pole during a sharp turn. After another jolt, she grabbed it again. This time her hand wrapped around the hand of another woman. Both women left their hands in place as the train completed the bend and eased into the next station. The stranger got off at her stop without looking back.

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