The Beautiful Girl
Stars fill a city, a city which you must then populate with your mind. You can see the stars but can you see the city as I need you to, as I want you to.
Focus, focus for once for me you motherfuckers.
Use imagination, the mind’s eye.
Already you are saying, Where is the beautiful girl, I was promised a beautiful girl?
Wait. There is an art to the building of suspense. Like this. And this.
See the city; believe in the city. Crystalline, glass boxes, stars above, rectangles, glass boxes, linear, skyscrapers, roads and maps, with stars above.
Who are you?
Where is the beautiful girl? Applying mascara? Plumping her lips?
Don’t focus on the beautiful girl.
Instead imagine the city, crystalline. Aren’t you supposed to be some sort of an artist? Imagine it better, focus better. It can be hard to see a thing even when you truly want to see it, I know, I know.
Focus on these:
- The city.
- The stars above.
- The buildings.
- The roads leading out of the city, a spiderweb of roads leading somewhere else.
There is darkness, so that the city is like an inverted photograph, the lights in the windows of the skyscrapers and the streetlights the only illumination, white lights in a negative photograph where the dominant color is black.
We are so focused on the city because the beautiful girl would be nothing without the city.
Plop the beautiful girl in the middle of the wilderness, and what do you get? Nothing. She would be nothing there, a thing of nothing.
Now imagine the concept of a party.
Neckties hang over the doorknob of your bedroom, loosely draped. Stripes and solids. Pick one. We are going to a party tonight.
The city is a palimpsest.
Not this one — that one.
Think to yourself: “Is tonight just going to be nothing? Just like every other night?”
But then, there is the concept of the party. In concepts there is hope. Like in the concept of the tie — muted, with grey stripes — now already knotted and now being tightened around your collar. Tie, collar; party, girl, arrows leading from one to the other. Fill your mind with concepts. Build a crystalline city in your head. If you build it tightly enough, a grid of glass boxes, then you can climb, climb the crystalline rungs of the windows, aspiring, climbing, reaching the top, until you hover over the city, your shadow looming; a giant ape, a tower, a zeppelin, a superhero. But where is the girl?
The beautiful girl enters the room.
At the party, the beautiful girl enters the room.
There is a pause, a time for reassessment.
Modern scientists say that the flapping of a butterfly can cause a typhoon halfway around the world, crushing an innocent village – so delicate are things, it seems; also they say that changing the position of your hand can alter our relationship to distant stars and galaxies, changing their proximity to us by thousands of light-years — so distant are they, so vulnerable to the slightest change. Just to think of it. Thousands of light-years. More distance than you can imagine.
So delicate are things, it seems, so distant.
Small things matter.
…Take in all in, become an active participant.
Where is the beautiful girl?
So then, where are you?
Slouched in a brown couch at the back of the party, is where you are. The couch — rich mahogany leather, attractive — lacks sufficient stuffing. Slunk so low in it, your shins almost reach chin level, and you aspire to the status of a third-grader, an eight-year-old, staring at people’s knees as they pass by you and recross in front of you, the lone unattached man at the party, for that is where your eye-level is, at knee-level, so that you are hearing the adults’ voices but not seeing their faces.
Occasionally people come by and shake hands with you.
“Hello your name something something this,” you say as you stand and shake hands.
From a distance, you can see the beautiful girl. She has just barely entered the room. You don’t know her. How long have you been sitting there, waiting for her? Minutes or hours?
The beautiful girl more fully enters the room.
If the beat of a butterfly wing can crush a city halfway across the world, then what does the arrival of the beautiful girl do to the room?
You sit down, stand up, shake more hands.
By shaking these hands, you are altering your relationship to the proximate star cluster Vega by at least fifteen light-years. This is not mentioned.
Through a cloud of cigarette smoke, the girl?
As the girl glides toward toward you, you have time to consider all of your own various physical imperfections. The mole on your left shoulder, for starters.
But first, what is the girl doing to the room?
And before that, what will you say to her?
Here are some things to say to the beautiful girl — just to say anything, just to (oh please) make her eyes widen, just to see her eyes become rounded, in that innocent surprise:
–So; hey, yeah, so do you hate parties? Well, me — I really hate parties too.
–Why so pale and wan — fond lover? So alone and palely loitering?
–Uh my name is Lazarus come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all.
–Draw a picture of a sad emoticon in the air. Two dots. Sad-upside-down-ellipse-negative-smile.
–I think we are in rats’ alley, where the dead men lost their bones. …If you dig what it is that I’m saying.
–‘Twas I — I who struck the pawnbroker and her sister Lizveta with an axe and killed them. …Metaphorically speaking; I mean I’m speaking metaphorically.
–I guess I um never really know what to say in these types of social situations.
–Mais où sont les neiges d’antan? …I mean; right?
…Or maybe say none of these.
…Thinking of a science experiment. Thinking of iron fillings. When a magnet drags black fillings towards it, it leaves white spots, lacunae. Which is the gravitational pull that the girl is doing to the room. Not just attraction, it also leaves blanks in the room, in the world.
St. Augustine saying that evil is the absence of good: evil like the Hoover-ed up absence of good in that way.
So much physical unattractiveness to you, your mole for starters, then your legs, ugh your arms; your teeth, god your teeth, don’t get you started on the topic of your teeth.
What next? Crumbling towers? …Ruin of all time and space?
If the beautiful girl is beautiful all on her own, without effort, does that make her superior to you, the so-called writer, who must try to create beautiful things, and then still failing? Or does your effort and her lack of effort make her the evil one, and you, the one who is in the good?
Right now, are you in the white or in the black?
“…Hello something something this.”
Hey, just hold on there for a moment.
Maybe just breathe.
Just breathe for a second there champ.
“Hi,” the beautiful girl says to you.
Multiple thoughts are occurring at this point — nodding head, hello.
But then; close your eyes. …She’ll still be there. Won’t she?
Won’t she be? Still without you.
Marvel and despair.
Form and void.
See, there all the time. And ever shall be.
…For-ever, and ever, all the time; and all without you.
World without end, amen.
…And then outside, as the stars fall down.
images – Alphaville (1965)
A | A | A
Nobody actually expects you to act like an adult for a while.
“What are you going to do with an English degree?”
I’m finding it hard to muster any sympathy for this asthmatic leatherneck. Instead, there is only contempt.
He noted that during trial, the women (we made up three out of the four mockers) mumbled to ourselves in between questioning witnesses.