Enlightenment, a very short story
He felt awake when he saw her sitting at the bar, as though all his previous life had been a slow, lazy dream. She looked like a girl from one of those sex shops in Amsterdam, wholesome and perverted at the same time. Her hair was perfectly straight and hung down her back to her waist. Her forehead was a smooth, wide dome of innocence. Her flesh was abundant, stark white and glowing, spilling slightly over the waist of her leather skirt. Baby fat. He could tell she’d outgrow it. Regeneration was her game.
She said, “I prefer to travel alone, no fluff or chatter.” She spoke of the outer and inner journey. She didn’t know which was the more important. “I am my own mysterious stranger,” she said.
When they got back to her room, he saw how her bed was opposite a huge fireplace, black; it felt like ghosts were everywhere, but especially in the fireplace, coming down the chimney. The wind made sounds around the eaves and windows, such a big wind, it was spring but the wind was fierce and strong. Her room scared him, he would rather have been anywhere else. But he couldn’t leave, the girl was already undressing on the bed. She looked at him from under her fall of hair. The now-naked girl lay back on the pillows and smiled. He felt as awake as the Buddha under the bodhi tree.