Saturday, November 23, 2019

new stuff

My daughter and her husband are adopting a dog... Sugar ... a beagle... hales from Arkansas and is thus pronounced without the 'r' I gather ... "shuga." They plan to pick up the dog Friday next in Maine.

My older son is settling down with his live-with into a newish used house in Marietta, Ga.

My younger son keeps a stony silence about his interview upcoming with the UMass police department. Waiting is always 90% of the battle.

On the porch, my wife discovered a birds nest in the making and shooed it away. I see no reason not to share the porch with the birds, but my wife finds it invasive.

I want to apologize to the birds, but it's too late now.

On the TV, a tale teller made a distinction between telling tales and joining the political fray to re-arrange or reform the tale. I like the distinction. Tale telling is not the same as the need to do something about the content of that tale.

As for example the incomplete tale of Catafalque Rambassoon, whose body was found a presumed day or two after his death. His layout was as neat as he had planned it. Catafalque lay smooth in bed. Sheets, coverlet ... everything neat. He knew he was on the lip of something new and had instructed Ermina, the woman who came Tuesdays to clean: If anything was out of alignment, would she please rearrange it so as to make the least possible splash in death. Ermina, a woman who was not afraid of death, followed his wishes and tucked in Catafalque's left foot under the covers from which it peeked. Catafalque was a man of neatness, both on the bed and off. A so his body was found, smooth as warmed honey, lying supine where he lay.

Likewise the pocket detritus on the bedstand table -- a pocket watch, a silver quarter, a .32 caliber live round whose copper and brass were scratched here and there to the brilliance of raw metal
... and the rest was dulled from riding so long in his pocket. Catafalque -- who chose his first name when he was 10, wanted the bed-stand to tell a tale or two, though which tale, precisely, he was never entirely precise.

Good to her word, Ermina tucked the errant foot under the coverlet, smoothed the sheets, smiled at the corpse, and called the authorities. The authorities came, pronounced Catafalque dead, which struck Ermina as slightly silly, and leveraged the body into an ambulance that was currently not being used.

At 10, Catafalque had taken his father at his word and chosen a given name that seemed to gambol with the family moniker. At 10, the choice boiled down to a flip of the quarter ... heads for "Fontainebleau" and tails for "Catafalque."

One thing was for sure, he wasn't going to stick with the name on his birth certificate, "Chauncey." And so, for 70+ or minus years ... he had become Catafalque, a nice enough man who preferred the poetry and roll of names. A smooth man who had died, to all appearances and with Ermina's help, smoothly.

Rambassoon, a name out of the deep Pacific Ocean, far from "far away." "Ulyanov" was a name toyed with but carried too much baggage. So, "Fontainebleau" or "Catfalque" and the quarter chose "Catafalque." ... chosen at 10 years old. Smooth and oiled and quiet on the tracks of the announcement, "Catafalque Rambassoon."

And a single live round amid the various bits of lint.

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