‘The Last Muse’
“I ran away from her, Marilyn, before I took her to dinner and lay all this Rosamond crap on her, and set the hook. It was perfect. Our meeting and our departing. Alas, after all these years, I have the end of my book. There is nothing more to add. I hope she doesn’t call.”
“Why? Maybe something good will come of it. Give her a chance.” Marilyn said in her sing-song voice, because she is a sucker for a love story.
“Nothing good will come from it. I will be in hell. It’s all your fault. You made me love you, and all womankind. She is twenty-three! I’m an old man! She seems so innocent. I will corrupt her! Go look at the video I made. She looks like a young, you. She’s got your mole on her neck. She is wearing black leotards. What side of your neck is your mole on?”
There is a long silence.
“I had that mole removed.” says the ex-love-of-my-life, with reverence.
“Nineteen years ago. It was cancerous!”
“See! This is what I mean! Who in your life knows you even had a mole on your neck? We fell in love as teenagers, and we will forever be joined at the hip! We carry each other’s pictures, till the day we die.”
Marilyn, I’m in love, like never before. We met six days ago, and I cry over her. She came to own my whole being by the way she said she was shy. The Knight Library is full of old books that will never be opened, they written by Victorian Men who mastered the art of courting shy women. It’s a lost art form that Belle and I mastered in five minutes. We got it right – and we got it on tape! It’s a wrap! Now I go looking for a producer.
You shouldn’t give up so easily.” Marilyn chirped.
Look, if you must know, it was my Angel who told me to walk away. I ran from Belle. I almost came back for her – twice! When I was up in the air heading for the bridge, I opened the window to my truck, and yelled;
“Belle! Bella! Call me!”
* * *
I think there is a special section in the Bhagavad-Gita that describes the terrible fate of a man who tells a young poetess she write bad poetry. What an asshole! Why did I do it? This is what I was trying to tell Marilyn. “I’m an asshole!” My angel knew the truth, and did her best to separate Belle and I – and keep us separated.
“Are you a poet too?” Belle asks while batting her eyelashes.
“No! I’m an asshole!”
“Oh! Well, you’re not alone. I guess you’re not interested in hearing one of my poems.”
“What are you – Psychic?”
I was so close. This looked like this was my last incarnation. Now, I got to start all over. After I die I will come back as a rolly-polly bug. Ten thousand lives later, I am a nute under a board of some rotting cardboard. Another ten thousand years and I am a grey mouse. Inside my brain I am now able to make out a few fuzzy words from Belle’s bad poem. Oops!
* * *
It wasn’t until I went to college and majored in literature that I came to the realization my parents weren’t hippie radicals as they professed. I was deceived. They were born too late, and were radical wanna-bes. They never went to protest-march, a sit-in, or rode a bus into the South. They were utterly innocuous. My mother brought some strange instruments over from Java, and while she got even stranger people to play them, my father was charging money for students to walk I a labyrinth he drew with some colorful chalk. Believe it or not there was good money in these extremely safe life-lessons. We lived in the better part of town in a Hobbit-like house in the South Hills. We stayed out of trouble. It came naturally.
At the Saturday Market, a Tarot Card Reader told my father he would have a son named Bill. Not wanting to cast aspersions upon the abilities of this Reader he handed good labyrinth money to, Jeffry became her apologist, he swearing he heard her say “Belle”.
So……Belle it is!
As soon as I owned the courage, I went looking for some trouble to delve into. In the Emerald Valley there are many things that look like trouble, but, they always come up short. I think our local news stations are to blame for they always show the tamest stuff they can find, such as little ducks being rescued from a storm drain. After the weather, and before sports, they throw in a few lines about some ex-college dude who got angry because his parents bought him the wrong kind of ice cream, and he beat them to death with a hammer. He then ran next door and raped an old lady after he made her show him where she keeps her big coffee can stuffed with fifty dollar bills.
“And now, sports with Lance Kringleton!
“Sounds like another one of those college live-at-home dead-beats flipped out again” Says Mrs. Ritter of 2344 Flamingo Way in Springfield to her husband of thirty-five years, Fred
“Because of their student loan debt they’ll never get a job, never own a home, no one will rent to them. They can’t get laid because they’ll never have any money, or a car. Where are you going, Fred?”
“I’m going to take a drive on the old pass before the snow storm closes it for the season!”
“But the storms coming. You don’t want to be on that pass when it arrives. Take your jacket. And a bottle of water and a can of tuna just incase you get stuck in the snow.”
“I hate tuna! How many times to I have to tell ya?”
* * *
Belle’s heart was beating a mile minute when she got to the Eugene railroad station and saw him sitting on a bench watching two eagles gliding over the butte.
“Look Belle!” That’s a fortunas sign that our date with destiny will be a glorious experience for both of us!”
Belle wanted to go up to him and deliver a right-cross to his jaw. She wanted to kick him in the balls when he spoke up at the Whiteaker Community Meeting where he introduced himself as a Whiteaker Pioneer who was hopelessly in love with a beautiful young woman who surreptitiously tried to extract his old hippie secrets and transfer them over to her young lover so she will love him that much more.
“Who did she think I was, a fucking Leprechaun? I’m calling for a Meeting of the Hippie Minds!” Jon spoke, he barely able to hold back his tears.
A leprechaun (Irish: leipreachán) is a type of fairy in Irish folklore, usually taking the form of an old man, clad in a red or green coat, who enjoys partaking in mischief.
“What the fuck is that?” Belle screeched, and she lost half of her support, because there were ancient ones at these meetings they showing up just for the coffee and cookies and something to do. Hippie Seniors were rather a morose lot, now that they were thoroughly cursed by Old Age. But, now they perked up as this Old Hippie Prophet recited the ancient Laws of Love.
“If you recall, we were not into bonding with just one person. We did not want to duplicate the trap of ownership our parents set for one another in order to capture a free soul, and imprison it in a gilded cage!”
Just as she headed for Jon on the other side of the room, Ambrose Holtham-Keathley the third blocked her way. Belle was seeing red as her lover smothered her rage in tie-dye! That’s when Andrew Holtham-Keathley the second stood up and seconded the motion because he felt Belle was coming on too strong to Ambrose, who was at the height of his Hippie martyrdom. and well on his way to hippie Sainthood. Indeed, Ambrose’s mother, Anand Holtham-Keathly was grocking on the suspicion Belle was trying to steal her son’s limelight, especially after she read Jon’s blog, Roasmond Press.
“Don’t you think you should shop around, son? And not get stuck on just one girl?”
What came next was titled the Meeting of the Two Santas, because Jon and Andrew loved to dress like Santa and perform at civic functions and demonstrations. They got along famously. Their trips down memory lane shook the Keathly home like a bowl full of jelly. They agreed they would both lead the Whiteaker Block Party Clean-up Party Parade.
When Amand handed Belle a cup of herbal tea to hand to Jon, she almost headed to the bathroom where she spotted a box of rat poison under the old claw-toothed tub.
“Why!” Belle choked as she heard Andrew and Jon chortling in the living room. “Why cant they see him for what he is – a real asshole! I don’t want to be his Grand Hippie Muse.”
“That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul. ” (Bhagavad Gita 2.17)
1. Obtained, done, or made by clandestine or stealthy means.
2. Acting with or marked by stealth. See Synonyms at secret.