oh, well, whatever . . .

the broken troubadour

leave a comment »


I am walking in a perfect place. I am with Brenda, who I take to be my guide.

‘Where am I?’ I ask. ‘What is this place?’

All around us and across our path soft snow is gently falling. Across the meadow there is wide expanse of grey water, a lake. The dim shapes of mountains rise up beyond it. It is twilight. Candles are flickering in the windows of the little stone cottages we pass from time to time.

Brenda is dressed in what I later come to believe is a Munchkin outfit. On her head she is wearing a big soft deep red pancake hat. It reminds me of the hat Rembrandt wears in his late self-portraits, especially the one of 1660. It is vague and amorphous, unnecessarily substantial. Snowflakes sit on it like butterflies on velvet. Her dark hair tumbles out of it like a frozen black waterfall.

‘Why aren’t we leaving any footprints?’ I ask, as I glance back over my shoulder down the path we have walked.

‘The paths in heaven leave no trace of those that walk on them,’ Brenda replies.

‘Where are we going?’ I ask.

‘Heaven knows,’ she replies.

As we approach another cottage I hear the strumming of a gypsy guitar. Brenda leads me to the little window. Inside I see Jack Verdi. He is dressed like an Elizabethan courtier, in a bottle green jerkin, a white ruff and a tall silk hat. He is wearing French hose.

‘It’s Sir Philip Sidney,’ I whisper. He is sitting on a low stool, playing to Tallulah, who is dressed in a black t-shirt and black skinny leg jeans and has her red hair tied up in bunches.

‘He is The Broken Troubadour,’ Brenda says.

Tallulah begins to tap random rhythms on a tambourine and to dance to the music of the guitar. Her dance is wild, precarious and full of flamboyant contortions.

‘She is a drunken giraffe,’ Brenda says. I watch the show, mesmerised.

‘Why do human beings leave no footprints when they walk across the snows of heaven?’ I ask.

‘Because heaven can never change,’ Brenda replies.

Inside the cottage Tallulah is now spoon feeding her troubadour a large bowl of warm English apple pie and hot vanilla custard.

‘How did they get here?’ I ask.

‘They had the right tickets,’ Brenda replies.

‘What are the right tickets?’ I ask.

‘Grace and kindness and laughing eyes.’ she answers.

‘Grace and kindness and laughing eyes?’ I say. ‘Is that how I got here too?’

‘No,’ Brenda replies. ‘You stole your ticket from someone you once knew.’

I opened my eyes. It was almost morning. De Kooning was softly tapping my nose with his paw.

‘What’s wrong?’ I said. ‘Have the clocks all started ticking again?’


Written by yammering

December 12, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: