FLOWERS WITH A LADY
It is 1954 and The Big Apple welcomes her with parades, radio interviews, and television appearances. Three out of four Americans, already addicted to frozen foods, watch her on black and white 12 inch sets. In a short time t.v. dinners will replace conversation at the family dinner table. The thirty prosperous people who have purchased colored sets see her slender fingers move across piano keys like white sea anemones sliding over the bleached bones of a dead blowfish. Floating in mid-air as if by magic, a dozen yellow roses, her trademark calling card to immortality, sit inside a glass vase on the grand piano. She turns her head to look at the audience and plays so enchantingly that they believe, for the first time in their cultured lives, they are hearing the music of the spheres, measured movements of celestial bodies.
THE RED DOOR
Two women stand at the entrance of a red door, quibble about the price of lust and love, like affected women in a comedy of manners restoration play. The older, intense and distressed, points toward her boudoir with a bony forefinger. The younger woman, possibly her daughter, looks the other way, uninterested in the older woman's sexual secrets. Dark memories circle the old one's head while bubbles, like light champagne rising to the top of a glass, stream continuously from the younger woman's skull. A red earring in the shape of a tulip dangles freely from the younger one's left ear, the fruit of her youth. The older woman's lips, top row of teeth barely showing, form a feeble snarl. She doesn't notice that her left breast has slipped and fallen from her gown. In the early morning she wears no jewelry, her drooping purple sleeves heavy with the weight of time. In contrast, the younger woman's white and lavender strapless gown of brightly flowered brocade, enticing on her slender body, clings to her taut torso. The three strands of pearls around her neck accentuate her breasts, which are lovely and plump. With just a generation and a half separating each other from the declining years, the trophy wife wantonly enters on cue as her elder clone exits.
WE DON'T LAUGH ANYMORE
Day by day the chasm grows wider and wider between them. They wear false masks in mixed company, their version of public life. Occasionally, they no longer camouflage their displeasure and lash out at one another like the tormenting claws of a wild cat teasing its prey. Close friends still view them as a model couple. Nevertheless, their life at home has become inconsolably private. Each finds solace in an empty room. Underneath, they are unraveling. Behind the pleasantries their eyes scan every opportunity for opposite exits. With his spear, he pricks her female essence a jab at a time within their cave of discontent. He has grown tired of her. She stale of him. On the surface they project puppet shells to perform love's choreography while the real people are packing bags and writing their goodbyes from places of wordless despair.