emma b. says

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Emma Immaterial

D. asks, "Where has Emma gone?"

Emma spectacularly expired, expectorating blood and organ into a lace hankie, there is Emma languishing over her prie-dieu, not quite praying for her salvation, rather an eleventh hour plot, a vain attempt to foil her creditors, thwart her lover and dupe her poor hapless husband.

Why I, We, summoned Emma as our anti-heroine is anyone's guess, though I would hazard to posit, that she is exactly what we are not, publicly abhor, privately admire, somehow, somehow.

I can remember when I was reading Emma Bovary in Aix-en-Provence, I had a marvelous lit teacher, she was from Toulouse, thick accent, was fluent in the languid language of gesture, I heard more from her hands than I did her mouth. She was talking about the passage where Emma is meeting her young lover in Rouens, and his ardor is fading in the face of her increasingly ardent demands. Flaubert describes his dread as he hears her little bottins traverse the hallway to their boudoir, Flaubert describes those tiny footsteps as tiny, little and very masculine blows from a very determined hammer. And like her not, and I don't, that is when I fell in love with eternally deceived, eternally blowviated Emma Bovary.

So expectorating, that is what I have been doing in the metaphorical sense, as I am a (purported) lady and cannot bring myself to spit in public.

You know when you're in that space where everything changes and nothing much changes at all?

You know when your ears are cocked listening for the change in the wind? You know when your heart beats fast for no (every)reason at all.

I had meant to write about the Fourth of July, and instead I came up with a recipe for Happiness Tart

Happiness Tart

One Yuba River, ice cold flowing downhill
One water snake caught and released
many voices over a canyon, a fifteen year old echo of laughter
deep, clear water

One shaded granite rock
One egret reaching skyward

One summer house, a bastion of peace, cedar deck leeched to grey
One frenchman proud of his catch of baby trout, one group of young people flossing with bones.

One fourth of July of many, dinner for one, bottle of rose
Johnny Cash serenading delilah
no red, white or blue on this day, black, blackly defiant

and in the quiet, as the last song finishes, bats are singing to the granite
all the constellations are somber in the sky, up river I can hear laughter and the occasional cherry bomb.

On this day I have no sparkler, I have no kaleidoscopic wonderment, just the mosquito coils and the stars and the bats bobbing and weaving on thermals of the last remnants of the July heat released from the solemn center of the massive sleeping granite.

In it's own way a perfect day.

A happiness tart.


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