Monday, August 6, 2012

The Courtesan, the L, and the Silent Lady

She mentioned Prague, but it was in passing so it became one of those things that may or may not be true. Perhaps I spend too much time in the fictional world, the task on the reader to discern the intents of the narrative - reliable narrator, or no? And who is speaking? And where opinions must be supported (where in the text is the evidence?) or abandoned. And of course the writers. How to keep their fictions straight? Who doesn't wish to improve their station in life? Well writers know how and it is easy and fun - just change the narrative. Well, that it isn't true? Eh, too bad. This sounds better, is a much better story, we'll roll with it.

So I have placed her in Prague. And I believe that to be a comfortable place for her until she proves to be otherwise located: I can now be satisfied that she is somewhere not unattended, and she can be quite pleased with the sight-seeing and shopping, the lovely accents. And now that she is placed I need not think of her again until such time as it be either urgent or convenient. What could be better?

And now my attentions to you, my lovely. And to be absolutely clear: those attentions will remain intellectual, spiritual, emotional, literary, abstract, and just general curiosity (so few hold interest after the first close inspection - the scrutiny folding them in on themselves, like a page of bad text to be crumbled and tossed in the wastebasket). Do not misread my exuberance about your presence as anything more than the pure delight of having a pleasant memory revisit, years later, and decide to stay awhile. (and should you look around you might notice that I quite have my hands full with attentive, and potentially attentive, ladies, at present?)

It is not that she can not speak, or does not speak the language, but that she chooses silence. Of course I can not know that for certain, not to prove it, but I do believe it as much as anything. And so when you call her on the phone to ask to visit, she waits for you to suggest a time (and if you do not know the protocol? you learn it, or are replaced by the one of the many wishing for your spot in line) and if the time you request is agreeable then soon enough you will hear a dial tone. So many foolish men and nervous boys can not withstand the silent wait and thus hang up their phone. And this means less than nothing to her as there will be another and another and another and a countless other, and she will give her words to none of them. Her one withholding, the only No she will apply. You can imagine for yourself the rest of it.

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