Tuesday, 23 February 2010



A convincing lie needs to have facts, if you don't know any, your story falls flat. To distract from the feeling that I'm incapable of retaining knowledge or have any real imagination enough to even create facts I hit random on wikipedia and focus on being able to see the connection between random events to make a story. Logic dictates that if it's made of parts of truth, the lie, the story, will be all the more convincing. You choose a standpoint and view every fact from one angle. AKA showing off

The Binding Reach

I own Joe Bethancourt’s first bango, the old S. S. Stewart his grandfather gave him at the age of nine in Phoenix. I am Bethancourt’s nephew, Tom Purtill. Bethancourt picked up the bango after hearing his grandmother, C. H. Burnett, play the fiddle. I’ve never played the bango, except strumming at his in time with the lunging steps of Li Ling the Chinese shot-putter during his winning throw in Osaka across my television screen in two-thousand and seven. Scratching at the strings was a remote distraction, something to ride on my mental hopes that he would somehow fall or fail. He got nineteen point thirty-eight metres.

Back then, as I had done for many years previously, I enjoyed driving around making faces at on-coming drivers, stretched wide-eyed smiles, dramatic and painful frowns, screaming mouths, that kind of thing. I didn’t bother doing this on my way into college, Bryn Mawr. I was always feeling drained of mischief in the morning and early afternoons after nights away in the city minutely adding to the spreading tattoo on my stomach at Roy Chamb’s, or laying around on my ex-girlfriend’s bathroom floor reading out-of-date photography magazines while she had four-hour baths. My mother was from Abra de Ilog in Occidental Mindoro. She left to study the genus of moth called Melgona, in spite of her simple family’s assurances that this would only end in trouble. Within months of landing in America she starred in Maxwell Anderson’s play Valley Forge, playing George Washington’s wife. She could play any nationality, so long as she didn’t have many lines. It was her particularly sublime features, beautiful in how striking she was, that detracted from a question of nation. Only mother could help me when I murdered Stefan Ekberg. Murdered him from my past. Stefan had returned from the motorcycle speedway championships in Great Britain having won in the Premier League that season. He came to me, me in my shabby smooth suit and flat shoes, him in his bad skin, to tell me he was leaving me for Herbert Kraus’s grandson, Thomas. Mother and I took this as a personal familial insult, us being cousins of the Oehler Brothers, the true masters of Nietzchean scholarship, unlike the disgraced Herbert Kraus, a weakminded Joo-sympathiser. I completed my studies full of rage and insecurity, and became junior head of Remote Surgery at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton, New Jersey. To think I’d only gone into telepresence purely because of the Lindbergh Operation, the first remote surgical procedure, which I read about in the newspaper. Dr. Jacques Marescaux removed the gallbladder of a man in Strasbourg from New York in two-thousand and one.

I kept a copy of the opera, or rather drama per musica, Scandebeg in the second drawer of my desk. I was consumed by how much the picture of Vivaldi on the inside cover looked like both my old lover and my mother. I couldn’t read the actual opera very well. Vivaldi’s white hair didn’t so much grow from or seem even attached to his scalp, but sat on top in obvious wig-status; floating and emitting a yellow-grey light from his young-man-old-woman face.

My first operation would be on Adam Silverman. Silverman. Silverman. It wasn’t successful, this silvery man, he went the colour of money. Someone in Atlanta brought him back to life, mistaking my smile on the videoscreen for mild hysteria at my remote robotic hands subtle fuck up. I kissed my own hands post-op. I’d read up on this man. He’d written an opera, found on the same shelf i’d accidently come across Scandebeg: Korczak’s Orphans. Janusz Korczak, or Henryk Goldszmit, supervised orphans in the Warsaw ghetto, his death march with the two hundred young Jews was seen by Wladyslaw Szpilman himself. An opera for a martyr-Jew? And a Theaterstück inspired by Nabokov’s Lolita? I shook my head in sorrow. Four months after the operation, Adam Silverman stood in the foyer of my apartment building, seven floor’s below me, while I watched The White Tower, drawn in by Alida Valli, counting out her ancestry in tears.


Courtesy of Harper Ecke.

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