Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Gutsy Gal & A Dog Named Venezuela

Somewhere during the night I may have morphed into a gutsy gal. Sometimes, I feel young, old; like a father, like a mother; reflective, oblivious; wear split skirts, chaps; and climb on the back of the woman next door, who sadly doesn't share my fondness for adventure and outdoor exercise.

I've been arrested twice: once for overworking her, and once for forcing her to eat pecan pie. I remember promising her unlimited freedom, and a proper deworming schedule. Thankfully, my tame wooing made her blush, and the moon quickly waned. Her husband, a blank toxic man, in possession of a body built solely to store air, is besotted by daffodils, lupins, hollyhocks, and his collection of corridor lights. A bald-headed man, he wears a goatee beard to hide the fact he has one leg.

Once he asked me a strange question, “If someone asked you to look out of your window in the middle of the night, would you do it?!” I realized I was in the presence of a madman. A madman with a shotgun. A madman with a shotgun and cartridges.

'CAN'T YOU HEAR?! Would you look at cars, people, houses, the horizon?! Damn you ... Would you ... ?!' My mouth and throat became dry. He took hold of my arm with his leg and cried, 'I've burned boats in my time! Thousands of them! And leave my Daisy alone!' As he walked off he shouted, 'It's getting dark and I've still to climb the church tower! The lighting isn't right for sniping, I tell you. Damn it!'

Daisy was once rich and possessor of a fine coloratura soprano voice; unfortunately it belonged to her brother. The naked truth was discovered one night when Daisy fell asleep (along with most of the audience) as she attempted an aria from The Magic Flute. As she snoozed it was discovered that her prodigious mouth housed a sizable family of illegal immigrants disguised as cows. 

My friend, Rada, who is from Bosnia and Herzegovina, has a French bulldog named Venezuela originally from Belgium. The dog barks in five languages: Serbian, Croatian, French, Dutch, and German. I believe Venezuela is presently reading Hungarian with a doctorate in mind. My intuition tells me the dog is slightly disturbed regarding its family history, and has no means of communicating its anguish to human beings.

Some days I watch the dog board the bus on its way to visit the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) to view works by the Belgian artist, René Magritte. A particular favourite, The Menaced Assassin, tends to remind Venezuela of his home in Brussels. He pins posters of the work on trees in our district, usually as dusk is falling. Then he sits gazing at the picture weary of his aging, burdensome exile. He never complains, but I can tell he despises his fate.

Once I witnessed Venezuela drunk, wearing a t-shirt and blue velvet jeans. He had shaved his head, and was ranting about his tax affairs. Rada, a gravedigger, who reeks of decay, is unworthy of such an elegant, lucid, and gentle animal.

Reflections:: Some people say they write, play a musical instrument, paint, act in the theater. However, it is not the fact they do these things, it's how they write, play, paint, act, that matters. Is it inspired by the soul, the heart, or is it practical, sober, and devoid of spirit?