May 22, 2009

Le Bike Ride

I turned the corner and rode into a Monet painting, the air suffused with southern France and bewitched with the stray cottonwood wisp here and there, like the ones that softly blew in between the slats of the open stained glass window at Mass. They were like planetary-sized dust motes, I thought at the time, before untracting my distraction back towards the altar.

Oh yes but did the ride feel full of inexplicablilities, of lost youths, of alternate realities, all buffeted by six-foot hedges that bloomed tiny white dimples and gave the air the smell of apricots.

I rode by Lady Britannica's house, the bookseller whose eccentricities I've long meditated on and wondered about, wondered in the sense of "wonder", she who called me all sorts of horrible names including "liar" but whom I felt a great measure of pity towards afterward, the way Christopher Buckley felt when Gore Vidal wrote horrible things about his father almost on the eve of WFB's burial. To hate so fiercely as Vidal becomes a sort of love in its self-sacrificial aspect - sacrificing his dignity, intelligence and part of his sanity for Buckley; perhaps that's why God said it was only the lukewarm he spat from his mouth.

Lady B had a large sign festooned on her front porch that said:
Help Wanted! Strong, intelligent* young man. (* - knows the alphabet!)
I laugh, enrichened by her humor, she who wants a boy of high school age to re-stack books. The alphabet being a low threshold to meet, one would think.

Her side gate has multiple signs that say the same thing:
I won't tell you when I am watching YOU from a window - I will only call the police!
This in a town where crime is not exactly rampant.

I bike on, listening to the otherwordly ballad "My William" by the band Stark Raven. I marvel at the talent it represents; the poetic wordsmithing, the perfect marriage of lyric and tune. Days like these make me long to read Proust, although I figure it's not Proust but some idea I have of him, something he couldn't possibly live up to in print...

5 comments:

bill bannon said...

My allergy kicked in during your first two paragraphs. Very beautiful paragraphs.

TS said...

Thanks Bill! I take Allegra so I know of what you speak...:-)

Betty Duffy said...

I remember this night. The sky was violet, the wheat was green. And I inhaled a knat. The insects hatched this weekend.

Betty Duffy said...

I think I meant to write "gnat."

TS said...

Thought it might be an "intentional sic", i.e. a sort of word play. :-) The harsher "k" seems somehow more appropriate as the first letter in gnat.