They mill around the desk, crotchety wasps, all of them, calling to the receptionist, making caustic asides, until finally relieved of their luggage by capable young men in tall hats, they stretch their livid lips into smiles and cross-fade to their rooms. I do not smile. I’m waiting for Dylan Thomas. Feeling distanced from my own narrative, as if reliving a demoralising flashback, I’m waiting for a poet whom I love more than life itself, in order that we can speak, soul to soul, artist to artist. Yesterday, the managing editor of Mademoiselle introduced Candy Bolster to him. To Dylan Thomas! Over lunch they talked poetry and the rights to Under Milkwood. Candy mentioned all this with a breathless flourish in the elevator at eight this morning and a sob crawled from my throat before leaping, lemming like, into the space between our feet. Tears brimmed as I slid through the yawning lift door and sped towards the restroom. I’m in the lobby of the Chelsea Hotel, waiting. Per
I shut my eyes to the blinding light, but opened them soon again. A man stood in front of me. His features were undefined, yet at the same time extraordinary. His hands reached forward, taking mine that had sat limp at my sides. Drawing me forward, his eyes of an uncertain color met mine. Tears formed in his, and they began streaming down his face. Water tugged at my eyes, but I managed to choke them down. Now was not the time, I had to stay composed, formal even, I... And then, the man moved his hands and took me in an embrace. I couldn't do it, I thought to myself. The tears came and stuck to his back as I held all the harder. And then, just then, the man let go and said to me, "You have found me at last, my Son."ReplyDelete
A very evocative and unexpected piece with a nice reveal at the end there Jay - there's a suggestion of possible romance but then it takes the reader off in a completely different direction. Great stuff in such a short wordcount! Thanks Jay.Delete
We were twin heartbeats in our first mother’s womb. Our two hands grasped each other’s thumbs on the barren hillside; our mouths opened with surprise when our second mother found us. We stared into her yellow eyes. We each patted her whiskery muzzle. When she dropped down to reveal her row of pointed teats, we latched on side by side, each gulping as much milk as the other. When she snatched me up in her jaws and carried me off to the edge of tilled fields, I sobbed for my lost brother. But she returned, holding Remus safely in her savage mouth, guarding us until our third mother found us.
Now I sit on the Palatine, lost and brotherless in an empty villa in the city that I founded. With seven hills to choose from, why did I quarrel so with Remus? Why was it my fate to kill him?
Ooh! A lovely piece Frances, really surprising and beautifully written. Quite a White Fang / Jungle Book / Call of the Wild feeling. Thanks a lot for sharing it with us.ReplyDelete
"Sheila called last night to tell us she's getting married next week and she hopes we'll come.ReplyDelete
Like we're supposed to drop everything and fly out to Santa Fe!"
The letter was dated March 3rd, 1975.
For 40 years, my favorite picture of mom and dad hung on my wall- dad in a business suit and a red turban,mom rolling her eyes and smirking, but the wedding hadn't taken place until over a year later- obviously not my parents' first choice of a son-in-law.
People had been hiring deprogrammers in those days, and I'm sure my folks considered it.
Yogi Bhajan had actually chosen a different mate for my sister, a man from a wealthy family,similar background otherwise, but my sister had defied him and chosen an unemployed alcoholic, albeit Indian.
That must've been the wedding that was to take place within the week back in 1975.
The wedding took place over a year later, to a Sikh, recently immigrated to the USA.
I remember mom telling me that Yogi Bhajan boycotted the wedding, and I always wondered why he'd chosen the groom he'd chosen, and why he was so angry at Sheila for choosing someone else. Was it simply because my sister was defying him, or because he had a plan that was ruined?
by Betsy Nepon
She found it in the sharp sparkle of rain-darkened roof tiles, and the splash of puddles amongst the cobbles. She found it in the ache of her calf muscles from the steep streets.ReplyDelete
She found it in the tired but cheerful bell at the corner shop. She found it in the crowded aisles with shelves to the ceiling, packed with boxes and packets of every colour, piled every which way, even on the floor. Aladdin’s cave, complete with the smell of spices and a turbaned shopkeeper.
She found it in the thick accent that shut out strangers but lilted, warm and enticing, to friends. She found it the gossip outside the school gates, and the snatches of laughter blown out from the playground with a flurry of spring leaves. She found it in a pair of grey pensioners, holding hands at the bus stop.
Peace. Hope. A home.