Tuesday, May 28, 2013


She walked away, I ran after her, caught up her hand in mine. We looked at one another. She was laughing then. I took out the stealth sleek camera from inside my coat and she wasn't smiling then. She said: "Look, if you want to photograph the scarf, I'll pose". Others had sought the illusive black and white misty silk, and my heart pounded and hand trembled as she opened her coat revealing the infamous neck decoration like a flasher. She blushed furiously.

Her mother entrusted the scarf to her in a simple ceremony in the hour before the plane went wheels up for Cannes. It was her dead grandmothers. They were both crying. The plane was delayed. On page 114 of an old art book at the New York City library there's a photograph of Picasso blowing his three nostrils into it. I don't think he was crying though. During the war, Mussolini had presented it in a shallow white box under layers of tissue paper to an unimpressed mistress. An embittered servant noted this and whispered it to a thousand other servants. He was later decapitated. The Mistress gave it to a wrinkled old woman selling bruised cantaloupes out of a wheel barrow on a blazing hot street corner. The old woman covered her balding head and spat and cursed the presenter. I'm pretty sure Ezra Pound held it to his nosebleed once after being cold-cocked by Hemingway during a boxing lesson up in a tilting gray building with no heat. It was the closest rag available. Pound wrote that in a haiku, or maybe it was a mirror image of a poem.

She said, as my trembling got worse, and she, still posing as it started to rain: "Dear Granny found it at a roadside market in dear old Bellfontaine, Ohio, under six cracked jelly glasses. Dammit," she was furious now,"you come over and drop it from the edge of this fountain and I'll take the bloody photograph".
I'll never let go of her hand.

image: Ponytail by Last Exit


Blogger Wanda Bates said...

Sometimes an object takes on a life of its own.

5/29/2013 4:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really love this story its very original and amusing

5/29/2013 10:29 AM  
Blogger Helena said...

I truly enjoyed the journey taken by 'scarf' here! Uniquely and cleverly portrayed. Well done!

5/29/2013 4:26 PM  
Blogger Susan Lindquist said...

Ah, the story that objects tell ... this is such a great little slice of one object's life!

5/30/2013 8:11 AM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

This made me laugh...

5/30/2013 7:06 PM  

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