The wind rushes at you, bending the sagebrush, throwing dust. Eyes to the ground, gripping your hat with your left hand, you watch your boots shuffle forward. You steer for the ravine waiting between the low hills at the far side of the flatland. If the map is right, and you know it is, the lost mine is as good as found. You reach the ravine, and the boulder is there, exactly as it should be. You moisten your lips, squeeze the crowbar in your right hand, and advance to the task. Strain and struggle to find the leverage. Finally, up and over, the boulder rolls aside, revealing the hole. Down you go, eager. You strike a match. There she is. You die.
The past we carry with us forever into the present and that is enough to contend with.
Word, you ever unnamed 2nd Mrs. de Winter in the sequel to Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca.
There is a sparrow on my brain
Or is it that I’ve gone insane
Time will tell if time will tell
If there’s a sparrow on my brain
(sung to the tune of Castle on a Cloud from Les Mis)
‘The old gringo came to Mexico to die.’
An early sentence in The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes. The question? What happened to Ambrose Bierce when he disappeared into Mexico to join Pancho Villa’s rebels? Nobody knows, but Carlos conjures up a possible scenario.
Carlton’s tenor voice was favorably compared to that of Enrico Caruso. The loyal hippo turned down an offer from the Metropolitan Opera Company to remain with Deb and the circus.
Carlton, the Wonder Hippo & Deb, featured as the highlight of their act:
a. Deb being rescued from an anaconda by Carlton.
b. Carlton singing the aria ‘Nessun dorma’ from Turandot.
c. Deb and Carlton pedaling on a custom-built bike around the ring singing ‘Bicycle Built for Two’.
d. Deb and Carlton performing the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.
The taste of triumph has eluded you for such a long slog of time. Now finally you stand at the entrance to the long hall. You have conquered the highest mountain, the steepest cliff. You can see the promised green door far off in the distance. Behind it? Wealth beyond imagination. Giddy, you stagger down the hall, footfalls tapping out a warning you ignore. You press both hands against the door. At first, it yields reluctantly. Then it flies open. There she is. You die.