Monday, November 10, 2008

How will I ever Weasel my way out of this one?

The damn internets at my house remains broken. Damn you, Ted Stevens!

I've apparently opened a can of Pandora's boxes that hopefully don't contain worms or any other Yog-Sothothery but only chocolate and am now doing requests. To be fair, I deserve the extra work presented to you here today, dear reader, because of my continuing failure to fulfill the requirements to remain a member in good standing of the blogging community. See, I promised La Belette Rouge many a moon ago -- whether I was eating a moon pie or mooning anyone, I cannot at this late date remember -- to write a post about shoes.

To her undying credit, she has since written more than one post -- two, I believe -- where the dominant theme concerned sports; if done in a slightly different style than I would've attempted. For example, I doubt I would've mentioned style. Style of play maybe. Though once I did mention about the FSM-awful orange pants the Browns wore. Voyez, je suis conscient de la mode. Only our shared love of choses françaises has prevented her from sending a paramilitary death squad after me.

Though this isn't The Shoe Post®, as I've yet to replace my nearly falling apart sneakers, this is far more creative in its own twisted way than that post could ever hope to be. Pardonnes-moi, ton amie, mais ton histoire, postscript.

This rye is dry

She sipped le café the way a nurse, through years and years of training for weaving through mountainous student loan debt thrown at her by irate patients and the occasional, arrogant doctor, would nurse hers. Yet she wasn't a sipper but a dreamer roaming fields of rye and playing catch with Josh Gibson and Johnny Bench and Roy Campanella and Phoebe -- no, no, no, that's all wrong. Hold on a moment. Hold on. Holden.

Everywhere her eyes, framed by hair the color of a crackling match, glanced, she saw him. Why he should deign to be in this slate-grey, nondescript, yet overpriced, brasserie at 24, boulevard des Italiens, especially when he was once upon a time, and has remained so, a work of fiction, her heart refused to answer.

Everything was grey. The tables, the light fixtures, the marble counter and the glasses of varying width and height seated upon it, the beer tap, the wallpaper of wine bottles, the wood paneling, the patrons. Oh sure, your eyes would have told you that you saw waves of brown tinted with blue and red and green, perhaps a dash of gold, black leather or a sliver of silver, but they would be lying, obfuscating. Grey was all her eyes, framed by hair the color of a child's red Crayola, saw.

"Monsieur, monsieur, je n'ai pas demandé le pain de seigle." The waiter turned to look at her, but his grey eyes and his grey smile spoke as if she had uttered something in Tocharian A. She was sure that she had spoken proper, if with an American accent, French. After disappearing and reappearing from the back within mere moments as if he were a figment of the camera's imagination -- she hadn't noticed any doors -- le garçon had brought her another plate of dry, rye bread. Grey, dry, rye bread.

Valencia, with its veil of shining smog, was a lifetime away. She pushed the grey, dry, rye bread away towards a Paris, its mirror image, its evil twin, lying in wait, hiding in the dark flagstones and darker pavement. She cupped her chin in her hand and sighed, her elbow nearly slipping on the slick, Orange Glo-ed surface. She knew that scent, every Yankee did, and stifled a laugh at the notion of such a faux fancy place, ha ha ha HA ha, stooping to use a low-class product, blissfully unaware of those that were, after all, aware.

The walls of wine bottles were lit by the flat rays of a dying sun shooting off the passing parade of chaussures éteintes traipsing their elegantly bourgeois way towards l'Opéra Garnier; she wondered what was playing. Such a patent leather sheen, if there had indeed been a sheen instead of slabs of rain-saturated clouds masquerading as shoes, could be dangerous to caribous and barbies, she thought. A brainstorm of nonsequiturism rooted in nothing but grey particulars was rudely interrupted by the stark sequitur of a single red shoe and a ray, not of weak light, but of passionate fire blasting off that rich patch of scarlet to shatter the windows, sending shards 360° in brazen defiance of the laws of physics, except for those really colossal explosions you see in the best action movies and random episodes of CSI.

The flame disappearing within the superheat and a sparkle of blowback feeding upon itself, streaks of charcoal air drew themselves over her eyes, the wan electric lights outside immediately painted the soft glow of a gaslit century long gone save in the history books and those of bad fiction. Waxing heartbroken over her unfulfilled dreams would have to wait as the shrapnel continued on its path, deadly to any mortal foolish enough to be on that road and not another, quality of soul and of sole be damned. A solid heel might come in handy when sprinting away from -- just dive already!

Only the unnursed but sipped cup catching the rocketing shards saved her ducking brain from being split into the halves swimming in formaldehyde situated on a black bed of that waxy goo segmented worms were cruelly pinned down to during high school biology by a maniacal instructor always decked out in ugly black hornrims and a hideous tie. This way and that the patrons scattered, les garçons, les femmes, les chiens, les belettes.

"Phonies, all of 'em. Are you alright?"

Still shaken and unsure if she had heard a voice or merely the reverberations of that hellish conflagration, she was aware enough to realize she was prone. And uninjured. Fiercely closing her eyes in order to wash the fine detritus from them with manufactured tears, she opened them just as quickly to see a being with one red shoe.

Looking up at a hand seemingly suspended in midair, she directed her gaze further into the hot, swirling dust to see not a ghost, but a flesh and blood man.

"Here, let me help you. I'm Holden."

20 comments:

Übermilf said...

What the fuck is going on over here?

Distributorcap said...

i am passing your story to the folks at Days of OUr Lives.

LOL

susan said...

Très avec du charme et approprié.
Votre ami à Valence devrait être heureux avec ce conte exotique.

and I really want to see that episode of Days of Our Lives..

MRMacrum said...

An odd, but in light of recent political remakings, an appropriate piece that mirrors my own grey world that has recently had a rather dark grey man wearing one red shoe offer us all a hand up.

My fear was the man with hob nailed boots standing on the soapbox outside would succeed in making us all plumbers and Life would continue it's slow fade from grey to black.

I liked it.

La Belette Rouge said...

I have read this post now 10 times and one time out loud and I am utterly and totally gobsmacked by it. I wasn't expecting much, maybe just a little thing about your sneakers and then you go and write about Holden in Paris and me in a grey environment seeking the fulfillment of a fiction.

I knew there was a reason I was relentless in my pursuit of this post. And, this post is so much better than a post about shoes. Please ignore the envy of others(;-), and instead take in my awe and gratitude for this literary gift you have given a grateful weasel. Truly, this incredible piece of writing brought me to tears and I am sure will do so each time I return to it.

I will try to be not endlessly rave about how much I love this and how talented you are and how this is going into that brief pile of things that I treasure most. I have a file titled "important things" and a printed copy of this post will be in it until after I die and it is someones job to dispose of my treasures.

The title, brilliant. And, the line: "Everywhere her eyes...glanced, she saw him.Why he should deign to be in this ...brasserie...especially when he was once upon a time, and has remained so, a work of fiction, her heart refused to answer." This my friend is some fierce shit( I mean that in a good way).

That the waiter in the grey bar brought her not the bread she requested but more of the dark grey rye. Damn, Randal, this is so fucking good. I had plans today to do things and to get things done and instead I will read this piece over and over. And, when I am done I will read it again.

A brainstorm of nonsequiturism rooted in nothing but grey particulars was rudely interrupted by the stark sequitur of a single red shoe and a ray, not of weak light, but of passionate fire blasting off that rich patch of scarlet to shatter the windows, sending shards 360° in brazen defiance of the laws of physics.

I cannot stop reading this. What a gift you have given me. Unlike you, words fail me. I hope in my ineloquent way I have communicated to you just how much this gift means to me.

I am off to read it again.
xoxo

Utah Savage said...

La Balette Rouge said it all. You have wonderful self mocking fiction writing chops.

afeatheradrift said...

Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker sit somewhere and snootily dissect your writing and hauntily smirk at its cautic mealymouthed approach. I on the other hand loved it Randal. You are truly either crazy or brilliant, I change my mind on that point daily.

Christopher said...

What the hell are you ranting about, Randal?

All I got was, your internet is out.

I was going to suggest going to the library or an internet cafe, then it dawned on me, you managed to blog, so it had to be operational.

Dude, are you stoned???

If you are, throw on Kubrick's 2001 and kick back for the ride.

Beach Bum said...

Okay, I'm going to go make a pitcher of margaritas, get blasted, and come back and read this. Maybe I'll just kill the bottle of tequila.

Utah Savage said...

Oh I love that image--Hellman and Parker sitting at the great Algonquin table in the sky critiquing your writing.

La Belette Rouge said...

I am a Parker fan but if she talks smack about this lovely piece I will go to hell and back to kick her snarky ass and I will take away her gin money. Take that you critiquing dead writers, you. And, Robert Benchley, I have some left for you too.;-)

Border Explorer said...

It is truly beautiful prose. And the illustrations are perfect also.

Utah Savage said...

The women do get you don't they dear?

Randal Graves said...

übermilf, madness I say, madness!

dcap, if there's an award, I hope I don't have to wait twenty years like Susan Lucci. ;-)

susan, hang on a sec, I have to work on my eyebrow raised in surprise at finding out that Jimmy is, after all, my son.

mrmacrum, if I posted on politics all the time, I'd go mad. Plus, I hate that garbage and lament its importance. I'd rather just write and listen to some tunes.

LBR, I'm so glad you liked it. No, I'm not going to retype my email 'cause that wouldn't be lazy. ;-)

utah, sometimes, maybe, in between lots of discarded crap.

afeatheradrift, Hellman and Parker can go to hell. And when I end up there, I'll buy 'em a drink.

christopher, no rants this time, nor was the internets back up. I tossed this up on the way to class. Nor any stoning, I'm just odd.

BB, if I can increase the amount of tasty alcohol consumption, then another one of my goals has been met. Bottoms up, sir.

LBR, yikes. If I ever finish that stupid book, wanna be my agent? ;-)

BE, merci. If I had photoshop, I would've come up with a black and white shot of a cafe. Those were a pain in the ass to try and locate!

utah, all but my wife. Take my wife, please. Thank you thank you, enjoy the veal.

Dr. Zaius said...

"le garçon had brought her another plate of dry, rye bread. Grey, dry, rye bread..."

Well, it better than getting a plateful of soggy, I must say! She should have ordered the meatloaf.

Randal Graves said...

French meatloaf? Instead of onions, they use froglegs!

Dean Wormer said...

Who says you're in good standing?

Harumph, I say. Fiddlesticks.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

superb.

Randal Graves said...

dean, I'm still on double-secret probation?

JNRR, merci.

Anonymous said...

^^Thanks!!

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