member of:Observers of the Interdependence of Domestic Objects and Their Influence on Everyday Life


This group has been active for a long time and has already made some remarkable assertions which render life simpler from the practical point of view. For example, I move a pot of green color five centimeters to the right, I push in the thumbtack beside the comb and if Mr. A (another adherent like me) at this moment puts his volume about bee-keeping beside a pattern for cutting out vests, I am sure to meet on the sidewalk of the avenida Madero a woman who intrigues me and whose origin and address I never could have known...
--Remedios Varo


(Artwork by Remedios Varo)
By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
--Franz Kafka

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tango in a Box V


From the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil. Artist Unknown)


PART ONE IS HERE


The third time I met Johnny, I was still on my second set of foster parents, and I thought he must have spent the evening with them while I wasn’t looking. He didn’t say anything about my bruises, so I figured I shouldn’t say anything about his and instead I said, “There’s a circus in the theater parking lot.” And: “I’ve never been to the circus.”


He grinned and we were off, and I felt this bubble swelling in me, and when the man did a double flip off the back of his horse and landed perfectly, I was catapulted from my seat, I squeaked.


We cut out of the tent through the side and wandered around and I tried to make my breath fit back in my chest but I couldn’t focus, there were all these lights and sounds and I didn’t want to shut them off.


Behind this one tent, we suddenly found ourselves part of a gaggle of performers. A tall Russian man in tights was walking beside me and I was following a clown whose lady’s teased up bangs reached the top of his thighs. I looked up at Johnny, but he was looking straight ahead like nothing was happening, even as the woman practiced little leaping turns from one side of him to the other, her tutu sparkling pink and silver in the lights. We moved like that, all of us, across the lot until suddenly, it was too much for me, I had to stop, doubled over, leaning on my knees.


And then he helped me up a little hill outside the gates and we just sat and watched from a distance until the lights blinked out for the night.


*******


"The Lesser of Three" by Bill Carman


By Bill Carman




*******



Another disaster in the chain of disasters that is my life was my third foster mommy. My third foster mommy, she was so kind, she said there was no reason why I should have to carry all that emotional baggage around on my own. “And,” she said, “we’re certainly not qualified to help.”


The problem was, I was just so moody. The problem was, I wouldn’t let anyone touch me. The problem was, I had painted more than half the window panes in my room black, leaving exactly seven panes see-through in each of the three floor-to-ceiling windows. She thought maybe I was involved in a cult.

The problem was, the whole time she’d be talking to me, she’d see me mumbling something, and she wasn’t sure it was prayers. The problem was, if I said anything at all, I said it seven times.

I could understand her concern. I didn’t think she was safe around me, either. One of us wasn’t.


The doctor where she took me was a special friend of hers. He squeezed her hand before she left. Foster dad number three was an electrical engineer, he was somewhere on the other side of the country. He traveled a lot.

The doctor promised to take good care of me.

What he meant was, he was going to hand me over to someone he suspected would. What he meant was, he’d be there when she came to pick me up.

The guy who got stuck with me was an intern. That meant he’d be around a lot, like all night.

I walked on the other side of the hall from him.

On the wall right next to the room I was supposed to sleep in, there was a painting of an upset-looking woman. Later, my first non-repeated sentence would be, “She’s broken”. Like me, I meant.

The intern, he had another theory. He said Picasso would say she’s more whole than anyone we’ve ever seen in a photo or portrait. Picasso would say we’re seeing all the sides of her at once, each one fully developed.

The intern, he had a lot of theories. He had one about foster mother number three and the doctor, for example.

That first day, before he handed me off to the intern, the doctor said to me, “So I guess you’re Irish.”

I was silent.

Seven times is a lot of energy, you choose your words carefully. And your audiences.

The intern, though, he didn’t ask anything that first day. When I stopped to stare at Dora Maar, he stopped too. He looked at her as long as I did, and he didn’t say anything either.



By Bill Carman

2 comments:

  1. "Behind this one tent, we suddenly found ourselves part of a gaggle of performers. A tall Russian man in tights was walking beside me and I was following a clown whose lady’s teased up bangs reached the top of his thighs. I looked up at Johnny, but he was looking straight ahead like nothing was happening, even as the woman practiced little leaping turns from one side of him to the other, her tutu sparkling pink and silver in the lights. We moved like that, all of us, across the lot until suddenly, it was too much for me, I had to stop, doubled over, leaning on my knees.," What a sight! I just discovered Bill Carman recently, his work goes so well with this chapter!

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  2. thanks for reading it, diane :) i'm glad you're enjoying it. bill carman's work has such a straight-faced bizareness to it, it paired well with what was going on in my mind, at least :D
    i thought, too, that the red-head in the middle of a bunch of "investigator"-types all looking the wrong way (from my perspective) fit her experiences in the hospital pretty well.
    also...the other thing about the images in these posts is that they'll make even more sense as the story progresses :D

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