SURREAL ADVENTURES FROM THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Stone gardens

I wrote Moonshine killed a shade of grey’s second chapter immediately and as agreed, I e-mailed it to Ed. The information flow continued until chapter 8, when I lost my cool. I couldn't bear any more loneliness.

My next e-mail to him was a consequence of my frustration and solitude in that big mansion:

“Tell me were you are. If I can’t see you soon, I’ll do everything I can to get out of here. Leni.”

The day after at 8:00 AM sharp, Stoicescu the Romanian butler knocked on my door, as he did every morning when he brought me the breakfast tray.

- I have a message for you from Lord Davies –he said, handing me a note-

The note said:

“You’re free to leave Cape Hope when you please. Ed.”

I hated him.

- Where is Lord Davies? I won’t accept a quiet smile as an answer. –I asked, very upset-
- Lord Davies is sailing, Ms Qinan. –he answered, smirking-

Wow. Sailing. That was new. Ed never mentioned he sailed.

I quickly drank the coffee and orange juice, put my shorts and top on and rushed to the jetty. And guess who was there: The genuine, the matchless, the incomparable and unbeatable Hellgirl with Percival, her yucky servant.

- Long time no see, Leni. –said Hellgirl-
- Yeah, how are you doing, Hellgirl? –I asked-
- I’m fine, thanks. I heard your Bobby man is again missing and you’re quite sad, but writing a lot. That’s good news. We’re all very proud of you in Hell. I can’t wait to read my book.
- Thanks. You will soon, I think.

- What are you doing here, at the jetty? –she asked-
- I’m waiting for Ed. I haven’t seen him for almost one week and I won’t move from here until he comes back. –I said-
- Hm… that sounds like… -she started-
- Don’t tell me what that sounds like because I know it very well. –I interrupted-
- Oh, I won’t say anything then. –she said, chuckling-

Percy, the small red devil, flew around me singing:

- Leni misses Ed, Leni misses Ed…

He couldn’t sing his little song it for the third time, because I slapped him so hard on the face that he plunged into the water. He emerged very irritated, shouting:

- Next time I’ll burn your lovely earlobes and earrings, Leni. By the way, where is your Bob Gausman? -asked Percy-
- I don’t fucking know, little twat! -I answered-
- Uh oh, sensitive point, it seems!
- Man, you’re obnoxious! You’re a real jerk!!!

He couldn’t stop laughing. I was going to smash his face up badly again, when Hellgirl stopped my hand and said to him:

- Enough, Percy. Now go hide somewhere and leave us alone, please. Leni is a bit… cranky today. Don’t upset her more.

Percy left, grumbling. Hellgirl and I stood there, quietly listening to the waves for almost ten minutes.

- Waiting again, Leni? How come these guys always leave you on your own? -asked Hellgirl-
- I don’t know. -I said, looking down-
- I told you not to give your heart to a man again. Least of all your soul. But you're paying no fucking notice to what I say to you. Your obstinacy and obtuseness are beyond my understanding.
- I can’t control my feelings. Can you? –I asked, annoyed-
- Of course I can. I'm not human. –she smirked-
- How lucky. -I smiled at her, sarcastically-

Our short conversation was finished abruptly when a beautiful, super modern white ship approached. Some minutes after, I could read the name: Rubian, from Portsmouth. Ed was waving hello from the deck.

- Two is company. Three is a crowd. Who knows what four could be. –said Hellgirl, waving hello at Ed-. I have some business to attend to now, Leni, but I’ll see you again soon. Let’s go, Percy. We’re not necessary here.

She snapped her fingers and vanished in the air with Percy. The Rubian tied up to the jetty and Ed jumped on the deck.

- Hello sweet angel. –he said to me-

Blink.

Five seconds later:

- I said hello, darling. –he insisted-

Blink.

Five seconds later:

- I don’t want to think your turning a deaf ear to my greetings, Leni. So let me repeat myself: hello, baby.

Blink. And five seconds later I pointed at him with a threatening finger and shouted:

- Fucking hell!!! Where on earth have you been all these days? Why have you left me alone with your domestic freaks? I have been waiting for you for one week!! I hate you!!!

I turned back. I didn’t realise the butler was standing behind me.

- Oooh man, I’m sorry… I didn’t mean you… -I apologized at the butler, with a low voice-.
- Never mind, Ms Qinan.–said Stoicescu, serious-
- So tell me, Leni… have you really been waiting for me? Or is this one of your regular Sandwichian rants? –asked Ed, holding out his hand to me-.

I didn’t answer, but looked daggers at him.

- Stop being silly. Come on in and sail with me. I have left you on your own because I had some business to attend to and I wanted you to write. And for heaven’s sake, I don’t have to explain anything to you! –he said, a bit annoyed-.

I jumped on the ship deck. Ed took the helm and the Rubian started sailing slowly near the coast.

- What business made you forget I was here? –I asked-
- And what do you care? Is this a burning question? -he answered-.
- Yes. Why couldn't you just tell me you were busy? Why are you so reluctant to tell me about you?
- What do you want to know about me?
- Everything. You took advantage of me being sloshed on the plane to Orsinia and I told you who I am and what I do.
- Oh… did I really do that?
–he asked-

He must have found me really funny, because the more upset I got, the more he laughed.

-Ed, have you got Alzheimer’s disease? I told you I’m a Sandwichian lawyer; I’m the Chief of Staff of Dumbass Industries’ Managing Director and I’m not happy at all with that, because I’d like to be a writer but I need a day job… I even showed you my left boob! -I whined-
- Stop. It’s nice to know all that and I really appreciate your trust, but this is not what I want to know. Your profession and job won’t tell me much about you. I prefer to look at you with my heart. I want to hear about your feelings; your dreams and hopes; your fears and pains; why your life becomes either an emotional rollercoaster or an abyss of love. I’m not interested about how you earn your living.

That sudden display of honesty left me completely speechless.

- What difference does it make if I’m an editor, a physician, a beggar or a king? I’ll still be the same old grumpy bastard. –he laughed-. And mystery has its charms.
- Mystery is not that beautiful sometimes. You should understand the reasons why I’m curious about you.
- I do. And I’m curious about you too, honey. But don’t google me yet. Try to discover something before.

That sounded quite reasonable and I stopped asking.

- Look right. There’s a stone garden over there.

I looked at the stones covered with moss. Small paths were outlined by grey tombstones. Wild coloured flowers had grown in the cracks. Red ivy climbed on the weird shaped rocks. Life emerged from death and both were mixed in a strange way.

- It’s a dead garden, but it has its beauty, although you may not realise that: you’re alive and authentic. -he said-
- Are you not? –I asked-
- My heart’s still beating, steady and strong. You should know that.–he said, staring at me-
- Oh Ed, please. Stop the emotional porn.

Why did I say that? Was it because I felt so embarrassed when he spoke about his feelings? Or because I knew he was taking his time to lift the veil on something more important? It was real hard to date a 295 year-old man.

I immediately realised I had hurt him with my stupid remark. He stared at me and flew into a rage.

- You despise me, don’t you? –he whispered-
- No… I don’t –I said, looking down-. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to cause you pain. I don’t even know why I said that –I cried-
- You can’t cause me pain, Leni. Not anymore. Let’s go back. You’re free to go whenever you want. –he said shortly-
- No. I'll to stay here until we finish the book. -I said, determined-

He headed to the jetty. A cold wind was blowing. I waited for him to speak, but he didn’t mutter a word.



"Cold wind" (Arcade fire)

6 comments:

max said...

Leni... how can you possibly be so cruel to this guy? Can't you see he's in love with you? Have you ever heard of that song that goes "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with"?

Come on, he's clever, nice, rich, trendy, interesting... yeah, i must admit he's a bit old for you (eeew... 295 years), but your Bob seems to have left without a trace, as rudely as usual.

Big kiss.

Leni Qinan said...

Max,

I see that, I'm not dumb. But I'm still supposedly going our with Bob Gausman... remember?

XXX.

Leni Qinan said...

Bloody typos. I meant 'going out' not 'going our'.
But my patience has a limit...

Fonseca Lima said...

Querida Leni,
Passei por aqui hoje!
Jamais esquecerei! Por vezes eu me ausento mas volto sempre!
Tenho lido devagar o teu precioso trabalho "DIÁRIO DE UMA ESCRAVA".
Mas preciso de mais tempo para saborear...e então dizer o que penso.
Continuarás sempre sendo lembrada e guardada no meu peito com todo o carinho.
Beijos do
Manoel Carlos

Leni Qinan said...

Hola Manoel Carlos, me alegro de verte de nuevo por aquí!
Sé que me visitas de vez en cuando -también yo visito tu blog y me alegra mucho comprobar que sigues tan activo como siempre en la blogsfera!-
Me alegro de saber que tienes intención de leer mi 'Diario'. Espero que te guste.

Um gran beijo.

Grass said...

Boys not telling their whereabouts! How typical! I agree that mystery is not often attractive. After all, you just met this guy. It's only normal to know stuffs about him especially since he knows so much about you already.

I'm impressed with his alliteration of life and death to stone garden. I must say he's convincing!

Still, I would feel the same if you were stuck alone with Ed's creepy butler for days..LOL


xxx