Sunday, August 26, 2012

the window

'And this is the place where he wrote'?
'Yes. It is here,' the 89 year-old man replied patiently after being asked one thousand times.
'It's virtually bare,' gasped the young woman. She noticed the lack of dust, her high heels echoing after she halted then preceded again upon uneven stained wood, but most of all she sensed the calming effect of a natural scented warmth.
The hunched-over man turned and smiled graciously.
'My Grandfather sketched in his notebook standing at that very window'. He nodded towards one of two modest sized south-facing views. 'I have disturbed nothing'.
'Imagine', Tatyana wondered aloud, 'his greatest - Thee Greatest - novel ever penned right where we stand'.
'Kind of does something to you, my dear, doesn't it'?
She shuddered. Positioning at a slight angle to the infamous spot, she raised her cell phone towards the window, panning slightly to capture an ancient clock sitting above the fireplace. With his back turned the old man thought he heard a solitary cricket chirp, became confused and startled momentarily to straighten up. 'What in the hell?' he began, bending to the fireplace searching. He shook his head.
'And there', she laughed, 'is the infamous bust'.
'What?', he said, looking at her mouth for the first time to decipher.
'Tell me. Who sent it first?'
'Oh. First? I believe my Grandfather told me once that he sent it to Charles Noonan Avery, and that witty old fellow returned it with the inscription scrawled on the back of Ludwig's head, then....'
'...I believe Granddad shipped it back where it wound up at the foot of Avery's bed while he slept. Imagine waking and seeing that puss first thing in the morning. Jokers', he wheezed, 'and now it rests here'.
She turned the bust slowly, the base crumbling slightly, and twisting awkwardly, her hair draping over Beethoven, she read: Some Days You Are The Pigeon, Some Days You Are The Statue ~CNA. She thought about it, then smiled, carefully turning the stern face back into shadow. She looked at the old curator. He was quiet as a statue looking out the other window, hands clasped behind. She spoke to him softly.
'What was it about the book, sir?'
He shrugged his shoulders.
'You of all must have an opinion', she mused kindly.
'The learned can tell you. I can not', he stated impatiently.
'He must have conceived it where you stand, sir'.
'Perhaps', he nodded, a bobbing head facing out the rear window of her dad's automobile is what the twenty three year-old thought. Tatyana turned to go.
'Young lady', his voice cracked, barely audible, a momentary silence disturbed by two bells of the clock high on the mantel. They both watched the grand clock until it finished singing. He looked at her, then looked down at his slippers.
'Tatyana, is it'?
She nodded, but he didn't see. 'Yes', she whispered.
He turned to the window and looked up.
'Unsought love'.

Big Room (1948)
by Andrew Wyeth


Blogger Brian Miller said...

haha the thought of them sending it back and forth playing these little jokes on each other is pretty funny....really nice close on that intimate moment, a few words passed...

8/26/2012 12:49 PM  
Blogger Berowne said...

Quite a story you've told, in just a few lines...

8/26/2012 2:22 PM  
Blogger Grace said...

I enjoyed the story...Prose form is my weakness so I really appreciated this ~ One can only wonder what went on ~

8/26/2012 3:06 PM  
Blogger Kathe W. said...

fascinating story-love the idea of the bust being passed back and forth-

8/26/2012 5:17 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Unsought love is a so beautiful because it just develops unexpectedly..... kind of like the conversations taking place in your story. Interesting and unique take, Phil. Thank you for sharing this clever write. =D

8/26/2012 7:42 PM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

Why is it most days I feel like the pigeon?

8/26/2012 8:05 PM  
Blogger Ritva said...

So many levels in so few words. Lovely!

8/26/2012 8:30 PM  
Blogger Irish Gumbo said...

Quiet power in this story. Real clincher of a last line!

8/26/2012 10:15 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

Your story reminded me of this Shakespeare quote ... 'love sought is good, but given unsought is better' ~ beautifully composed, Phil.

8/27/2012 11:56 AM  
Blogger Lyn said...

Having a bit of trouble getting on here...really stitched together a good tale, and some suspense! Want you to know!!

8/27/2012 1:19 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Great way to incorporate the bust. I enjoyed this immensely, and loved that moment at the end, too.


8/27/2012 6:48 PM  
Blogger hyperCRYPTICal said...

Lovely story weaved here. Thank you.

Anna :o]

8/28/2012 8:46 AM  
Blogger ds said...

Wonderful story, well built, well ended. Love that the statue was passed back and forth. Thank you for sharing this!

8/28/2012 10:20 PM  
Blogger ~T~ said...

I like how you worked the setting into the story--or the other way around. I think that's a raccoon in the fireplace, though, not a cricket!

My descendants had better not leave this mess untouched if I turn famous.

9/01/2012 3:35 PM  

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