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Archive for the ‘short tales’ Category

cool mustache.

meet Vincenzo Perugia, thief of the Mona Lisa.  Vincenzo stole the famed da Vinci painting out of the Louvre.  Patriotism was his cause.  He claimed the seated lady belonged in Italy, da Vinci’s home country, not France.

 

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ship.wrecked.

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i saw you and i remembered a little harbor outside New York, a ghostly place they call 
the Rossville Boat Graveyard, where tugs and cargo ships have gone to sleep.
i imagine we might walk there, you and i, amongst the ruins of that which is no more. 
at the Rossville Boat Graveyard we search for something, and though all around us the 
boats boast a million different stories all at once- their hulls and cargo bulks 
singing the scream of a million different tunes - wrenches trapped in open slivers of 
wood, ropes knotted and left along top railings to disintegrate - all  
around us crying stories- when we look for ours, we cannot find it.

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“Have you ever seen the roots of a palm tree?” he asks her, shortly after arriving in Los Angeles from London.  “They are thunderously imposing, sleeping giants in the soil,” he continues, without implying a need for her answer.

“They aren’t native, despite their post card status, to this desert,” he concludes.

They are on their way to the Motion Picture Home, driving, palm trees flying by the car window like blips on radar.

He is still a brilliant man, she thinks; always moving, always thinking, fully aware that he is referring to himself, to his own roots, his own giant beneath the spread of Parkinson’s.

That was almost two years ago.

Every week she follows the freeway’s orange ribbons to see him, her sleeping giant, her thunder of a man, to visit, chat for a while, and still more, sometimes, to just sit in silence.

She has an accent on occasion, when she reads aloud to him, mostly on words with long or double o’s, like looks or adore.

She isn’t British, though having lived there for some time, nestled softly in a cozy house on Wimpole Street.  Perhaps her husband, this true Brit, proved impelling enough for her to pick up the tonguely swagger of his countrymen.

“They, or rather you my dear, pick up moth eaten London accents that are down on their luck and have to be used by someone,” he once said, quoting Fitzgerald.

He still quotes the greats, although isn’t always able to remember as precisely as he once could, but it doesn’t matter to her.  She can remember for him.

Her manner is never distant, even when he smothers her face with a pillow and desires they go together, right then in that moment.

This is not the first threat after all. She recalls one night, after a heated argument, he called a friend, exclaiming, “I wish to kill her!”

“Well then,” the friend considered, pausing slightly, “I would suggest taking the exact opposite action.”

So he ripped off all his clothes, trudged out into the snow of their then Connecticut backyard, flung open the door to her back house studio and yelled, “Let’s make love!”

It is her turn to do the opposite now, so she hugs him close and tells him she isn’t yet ready, tells him she loves him, adores him, taking on again his accent.

She looks at him now and does adore him still, after these many years, after both trials and felicities, after loving fits and these pillow fights.  And so, they continue to flourish, to accomplish love in the midst of melancholy, to bloom in the face of his diminishing state, operating in some respects, as they always have.

When he isn’t there, when he isn’t capable of being present, the accent is her fixed foot.

It isn’t then as simple as some might suggest, as Fitzgerald had written.  She isn’t putting on airs, but rather, it is more like she is pulling on husband, when he is nowhere to be found.  When the gossamer of Parkinson’s weaves across his brain, his memories, and his motions, she still has him on her tongue.

It is a way to remember him, retain him, when they can no longer be together, live together, or wake up together.

She simply picks him up, the same way one picks up a photo album or a journal and flips through the pages.  She needn’t hold something to see it; he is moving inside of her, through her words.  In this way together can exist long after she leaves the Motion Picture Home.

When she departs after a long visit, after snacks of ice cream bars, and trips across time with music, she can simply pull on his accent like an old pair of jeans; he miscible with her, homologous souls.  In this way, together can live long after she returns, weaving back across the yellow lines, the palm trees, and traffic lights that brought them here in the first place.

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