Monday, April 22, 2013

Parcae and Lost Canyons

We are back from Connecticut. Whenever I'm in Norwich, I think of my grandma's description of the place when she was growing up: pastures, walking barefoot along cow paths between farms, ponds and little lakes where boys impressed girls by jumping off (sort of) high rocks. It's not the Norwich I knew growing up, but was super-imposed over it, a sunny day with green fields shimmering over a translucent present. Somehow, even that past now seems closed to me. The proverbial chapter is closed--though I have mementos, which made it difficult to fit my luggage back in the car when I was finished. Not enough, of course. But my home in Michigan seems warmer, somehow, with old pictures on the wall, and, among other things, a ceramic terrier dog with broken paw (think I did that when I was nine) keeping the ashes of our old Jo company.

Blogger is so silly with all that captcha nonsense. I'm never sure what it's trying to do--it must be more than just a way to verify I'm an authentic human being. The options have all got such a science fiction bent to them. In the tiny notebook I carry everywhere, I write down things: seeds of story ideas, titles, character names. And certain captchas that, *cough*, captured my attention. For example, Upple and Randaleen. Don't those sound like the names of cities on alien planets? 76 Arjart is the address where Parcae, dress laden with spool-filled pockets, walked to find a room for the night. How tiring it is on earth, all those mortals behaving as if they possessed the tiny golden scissors that cut the thread of their own lives. Parcae in her heavy gown has escaped, for a while, to Venus, to the dusty, winding narrow streets of Upple, for one night. She is meeting Temerin, her half-mortal lover, who knows which pocket the spool of his own life is in, but whose fingers never go searching for it. Instead, he cuts the ribbon at her neck, allowing the gown to fall to the floor, while shadows course the city, galactic dogs whipping between stars on the scent of poor Parcae.

A rented room for the night, paid for with the promise of an inch of extra thread. An innkeeper who bars the door to the hounds when they come sniffing, laying out pomegranate in smashed fistfuls to divert them. And Temerin, who doesn't want the spool in her pocket that is attached to his soul -- no, Temerin wants another spool. The thread belonging to his son, his only son and his only secret from Parcae.

Somewhere, in the Lost Canyons outside the city, a woman whose voice is like broken wind chimes strings an arrow. She is not the only one hunting tonight; she says a prayer to her own gods that the hounds don't find Temerin's lover before she does.

Captcha! Did you give me all that? Now I want pictures of languid goddesses, gowns beside the bed in heaps of white fabric, and night skies flecked with diamond stars.

Today is a good day. It is mine. It was a tomorrow that came true, however awful and brilliant that may be. I have such trouble with the present. But today, it is mine.


  1. Darling! I´ve had some stupid computer problems, I really am not a tech genius at all. At first I sort of did nothing about it, and then I panicked when my email didn´t behave as it should. But then it did and I saw that I hadn´t missed anything important. But in the middle of it all I forgot to check blogger! And I missed important things here! Are you all right?

    Death! Be Gone! That´s all I have to say on the matter. Or not at all, really, I expect I´ll keep thinking and writing and fretting over death until it comes for me =( I´m trying to believe I´ll see all my loved ones again after death, but I´m not there yet.

    Tonight, I am decades older than my wizard lover (you know him) and if I make him marry a girl, it´s only to save her and her little friends. He comes broken to my bed and when he wants me to let my hair down, craves it in fact, I´m so glad I can oblige because I have nothing else to offer.

    Poor Temerin! He´ll never ask for his spool and I doubt he´ll find his son´s either. It´s a Greek Tragedy. And in it, I´m sure we´ll have those moments. Those moments of irreversibility that determines the tragic fate of a loved character – they make me feel sick. I can´t watch ”One Flew Over the Cuckoo´s Nest” because of the ending, lobotomy scares the shit out of me. And when Mystique was ”cured” in X-Men – same thing! And then when Olivia Wilde´s character timed out in ”In Time”, aaaah! I could go on… It doesn´t need to be quality art or even goodish to evoke this feeling, I react with my deepest lizard brain to anything that seems irrevocably unfair and deprives a character of his/her free will. I think it´s because I equate free will with life itself (even though I obviously know the idea of free will is highly debatable =))

    I´m sorry I haven´t been here with you. I´m sorry I´m never RL with you.


  2. I love that all this comes from captchas. Can't wait for your next story, Becky!