trompe l’oeil, petite maison
Piano Sonata No. 7 in B Flat Major, Opus 83 (“War Sonata”)
Bernd Glemser, piano.
Photo: The Barmaley Fountain, Stalingrad, c.1943, by Emmanuil Evzerikhin.
“Babe, I have been having a nervous breakdown for the last couple of hours because I spilled coffee all over my computer and now I think it is broken.”
This is the message I write to Musette, who does not responds for hours, being at work, and unable to answer her phone. I want to call my mother. Because this reminds me of the day I lost my glasses and couldn’t get ready for school. But I know that with the wedding rings already in a FedEx truck, she has been replaced.
Sitting at my desk, with a Youtube video showing me from my phone how to replace the keyboard of a different computer model, the phone rings:
“Are you ok?” asks Musette
“The tone of sympathy in your voice is calming me down rapidly.” I respond.
I don’t tell her that she is the person I am most afraid of: the family breadwinner, who is barely treading beneath the bills which have been piling up so rapidly recently. With me being too spoiled to go very long without a computer all my own. Because the computer is the modern typewriter which is my canvas to the magic, moving window of literature and all the world’s knowledge. I don’t tell her that I consider myself in a different category than others. She already knows that. She knows that I believe that my computer means more to me than others do to others. Because everybody is addicted to this canvas which I paint on. But without mine I feel purposeless, being here, unemployed, a sugar baby to her meager wage. I become purposeless, handicapped, crippled, amputated.
“I am going to be home so fast.” she says. “Don’t panic. Peter says to put your computer in rice. But I don’t know if that is a good idea. Just wait for me to get there, ok? and we will deal with this together.”
“I can’t wait for you.” I say. “I am coming to get you. Let me just put some clothes on.”
Louis Jean Francois Lagrenee. Detail from Aurora’s Take Off, 18th Century.
vincent griffin collab www.landandshape.com/
It doesn’t take much to set fire to liquid manuscripts. Just a simple twitch of the wrist and a hand full of mug. Because anything is possible in a world populated by trickster gods, and the most absurd accidents can cause the greatest of tragedies.
There are three knuckle-sized indents dimpled into the face of my fridge, left behind from the punch I slammed there. The machine, an HP Mini Netbook, sits eviscerated on my desk, smelling of coffee creamed and sugared. The hard-drive, like a futuristic lockbox of glass beads, lies beatless and unplugged next to its other organs. Charlo sits in his kennel, looking up at me with curious eyes, not understanding the situation, cocking his head for reassurance that none of my shouting, screaming, hair pulling, punching, and chaotic organ grinding has anything to do with him. And I’m stripping my clothes off, and kicking the bathroom door closed, dancing beneath a stream of hot rain to The Bee-Gee’s‘Tragedy’ which comes pouring from the angel harps of my Last.fm account.