Sunday, July 27, 2014

Alcyone, Chapter Fourteen: Letter to Audrey

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There’s your story, O pigeon pal, and I suppose I promised Juliana whatever it was she wanted from me. I’ve been in something of a walking coma ever since. With one exception: my hearing has become superhuman.
I went golfing with Stephen Swan yesterday, and as I stood on the first tee I realized I could identify the vehicles on Mt. Hermon Road by the swaths they were cutting: whoosh! Dodge minivan, slash! BMW Boxster, swish! Toyota Corolla. I heard kids playing at the Burger King down the block: four girls, two boys, ages three to nine, the five-year-old was Mexican, the six-year-old Japanese, and the three-year-old had a bad cough. His name was Sidney.
There’s a pond next to the second tee, and I counted the birdcalls of 23 different species. Then Stephen came over and said something very mundane, like, “I believe you’re first off,” and I detected this unique fray at the edge of Stephen’s baritone, something you will find in perhaps one of a thousand voices. This is what makes his voice so powerful, this tiny band of scuttled waves on the edge of his oscilloscope. I could almost draw a picture of it.
Fifty yards from the tee, a power cable stretches across the fairway, and anyone striking it is entitled to a second tee shot. Stephen whipped out his four-iron and did the most extraordinary thing. He cracked a drive into the center of the cable, and like a cartoon slingshot it catapulted the ball right back in our direction. It landed in the pond next to the tee, twenty feet away. I can already hear Stephen stretching this into one of his wild anecdotes (involving Kirk Douglas and a midget). But the most incredible thing was that, twenty minutes later, as we stood on the fourth tee, I could still hear that cable vibrating! A diminishing but distinct C-sharp.
It would be simple to dismiss Juliana’s friendly rape as an act of vengeance perpetrated by a frustrated chairwoman, but I sense something larger at work. Some cosmological force has rattled my senses in a spectacular way, and I don’t think this is the end of the story. Perhaps after the gala tomorrow, I will send another pigeon.
Coo-coo, baby.

Photo by MJV