Big Inca

To: The Boss

From: Bill

Date: February 9

When I stopped over at the girls’ apartment, Mona was with an unidentified Celt. I think he was her former boyfriend. She’s living in suspense, waiting to see if Paul is going to show up here again. He promised to come back. That was three weeks ago.

So Mercedes and I slipped out and walked up the street to a shiny diner. We sampled each other’s orders. Then we went back to my place for the rest of the evening. Wolf Jester was out of town for the weekend. It was a cold, cloudy evening perfect for a fireplace or candles, so we watched flivvers climb the distant hillsides and united in a feeling of being above it all, surrounded in mystery and enchantment – a full magic symphony of long-buried experiences. Somehow, she let me enter my own loneliness for a while, as I recalled the first evening Wendy Tyler and I spent in my dorm room, the candlelight and wine. Then she asked me about my dream house, and I replied, a cabin of stone and glass and rough-hewn wood in the forest. There were windows all along one side and a big fireplace. No planted shrubs, just natural big trees and wildflowers. We would go for a walk, espy an object – a stone – pick it up, examine it, put it back. When we would arrive at the edge of my property we would find more forest and a no trespassing sign. We might go on. We might seek a road or some legal exit.

She said my house reveals, in the glass, an outgoing nature, but my three or four rooms show that I limit my friendships, permitting few to enter. Yet, a contradiction, in that trees are the strongest of friends. The rock is my love: I am cold; let it be undisturbed when I leave. The lack of flowers and shrubs (domesticity) show that I do not cultivate friendships. My fear of leaving my property reflects my fear of the unknown – of death.

For her, the dream was a glass treehouse. Her found object was a Jack-in-the-box. She had no property, but knew her neighbor’s by the mowed grass lawn. She spoke to the neighbor and returned.

If I were an animal, I’d choose a falcon or monkey; she’d be a spider, even though she detests spiders.

If you want to sleep with Mercedes, you have to dance.

I can’t dance.

Thor, Goat-man, and Wolf Jester are all fantastic dancers. Just my luck. They called me at work and asked if I’d like to go to a rock concert. Just my luck.

I went along anyway. Wrapped in a red poncho (“It’s beautiful,” I told her), the girl sitting next to me explained that she was a high school senior, advanced a year. Her small, purple mouth spoke of disliking crowds; her big brown eyes, full of innocence, hardly seemed to fit the plans she was sharing: seven years of college for a law degree, to help people the way her father has. Not corporate or research, but freedom.

She had hitchhiked that summer through Canada to British Columbia; she hated the American Midwest. She was barefoot and curly-haired, from a middle-class suburban high school that had all of five blacks.

Her father invented her name five days before her birth; he dislikes all artificial highs, including booze. Her mother was one Long Island Jew. She spoke in a nearly pure voice, inflected perhaps a touch of Canadian.

When I asked for her name, she said, “Nvr.”

Thinking she knew the silhouette dancer in the window, she left me at intermission.

In the second half of the concert, there was a fine female dancer in the window. How I missed her presence! With a body well-disciplined from Herbcrafters’ headstands, she was able to hold her toes pointed out a long time. Her freedom made me happy/sad. Nvr-mine. Nvr-mind.


For the full story, click here: BIG INCA


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