The day she left me, she left the fish. The gloopy, dead-brained goldfish sitting in our room. My room now, fuck her. I don’t miss her. She used to ask her if I missed her when she went away in the summer- not really I’d say, she’d come back in three weeks. That made her cry. Why do people cry when you tell the truth?
Aeryn Baker climbed into the back of his limousine and read the letter from his late husband, Van Philip Harris, for perhaps the hundredth time.
Dearest Mother and Beloved Husband,
You each have been a comfort and loving support to me in your unique ways, though the feud between you has been a source of consternation to me. It is my earnest wish that the two of you find a deeper understanding of one another. Toward that end, I wish the two of you to spend an evening together on my yacht, the Floating Edge. Should either party decline to participate, the declining party shall be awarded the sum of one dollar. The remainder of their inheritance shall be forfeit.
A few nights ago, Jim identified the great, distant sun Naazar in the autumnal sky, and then attempted to sell me tales of its splendor and glory. This had caused an old memory to trip my inner As If Alarm. Some claim my inner As If Alarm underscores the ever-suspicious side of my personality; all things considered, I find it a useful and necessary device.
You’ll surely think me mad at the story I’m about to tell. But believe me friends, this is no story.
It began with them getting Rachel. I don’t know how they did it – or who or what they are – but they did. She’s gone now, to god only knows where. My beloved, sweet, innocent Rachel. The love of my life. Stolen, taken from me, and replaced.
A thousand little Benjies constantly talk in my head. A thousand little creatures speaking, some in subdued almost suppressed and some in apprehensive yet hollow tones, somewhere in my head. They all talk, all of them, together, simultaneously. Shut up, shut up, shut up. They keep repeating those words. Like parrots on cocaine, they keep repeating those words. Blah, Blah, Blah. Tickets please, sir. I was sitting, and the clock went one, then two, then three, then she came picked me up and then we were here and I was sitting again but we were moving. And we are moving, and they are moving, and those are moving, and maybe it was a bicycle and not a bike. Maybe we’re not moving at all, and it’s just my head horsing around. I have liquid memories and container moods, the latter follows shape and the former follows suit. I press my eyes against my palms, and I melt right through. They won’t let me forget. These bastards won’t let me forget.
“I see her always as she was then, lit with lucent yellow from a jagged tear in the eternal cloud cover, eyes locked with mine, mutely but unmistakably saying farewell.”
This is the first sentence of the novel ‘Farewell Persephone’ by my uncle Marcus Carradine. Below the title he inserted a quotation:
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold
The Second Coming
William Butler Yeats
I found the manuscript of ‘Persephone’ in my uncle’s house three weeks after he died. ‘Manuscript’ is a literal term in this instance; Marcus despised word processors and wrote his book in longhand. He used to tell me that the movements of his hand and arm made the creative juices flow. Literary composition was a physical thing. He said, too, that his aim was to ‘possess the world and make it gravid.’
Once per year, Vicar meets her child at Altar. The event is a scheduled appointment, and means as much to both participants as an annual dental cleaning had meant to a First Form human being. For whatever reason, Awesome insists on yearly Vicar-class “mother-daughter” contact, which will terminate the year the color of the child’s skin changes from topaz to jet, thus signifying spiritual maturity. At that point onward, they will neither see nor think about each other again. Vicars are happily solitary beings, in keeping with Awesome’s self-image.