Tea at Tympani Lane Records

World Message of Peace
 
The Artist Wife

 

The day is yellow. In the dream, the apartment is coated in the glow of yellow warm, she exists inside the beautiful white décor, the fantastic beautiful space, artefacts of her and her love for her husband. She lives inside the ghost of memories, the husband is as beautiful as she is, they are beautiful in love. It is quiet morning, the sunlight eeks its way across wooden floors. She ponders over breakfast, dances with her thoughts to her husband they continue the conversation, the glow of love in concert. The blonde glow of angels, the husband is beautiful, she is beautiful, they are beautiful in love. She entrances. He is dead.

The KGB agent leans into his sandwich as he intently listens to their conversation, mustard dribbles down his white shirt, he curses and attempts to rub it off with a napkin. He is heavy and dark, they call him “the Gecko.” The words, the poetry of love spill across . . . he watches her, he watches her face, the quiet of her eyes, the fall of her hair, the light. He is spellbound. As they leave the kitchen to make love in the inner room, he takes notes on their travesty of being, the look of saboteurs, the criminal intent. The army soldier broadband is on assignment from the head, he has been told they are watching certain suspects for suspicions of conspiracy against the government, the husband is a Poet of some renown, a university professor suspected of being a double agent. The truth is the head has designs on his Artist Wife. The truth about the Poet husband is he helps his students steer the waters of their complicated lives, occasionally bitches about government bureaucracy, drinks a little too much on weekends and has a very beautiful wife. The Gecko is wiry and dark, he sleeps with whoever turns up who is interested, has had more than a number of girlfriends, but as of late has found himself ruminating at the bottom of a vodka bottle wondering why the women he is attracted to usually leave him. Brooding over lost commendations in the army, he joined the KGB. He is nondescript, a foot soldier, a certain brutality, good at keeping secrets and reliable.

The wife is an artist, accomplished, a dancer. She paints canvases in a small anteroom off the bedroom, spends her time painting still life, flowers and love. Her husband prepares the canvases for her, makes the elegant frames for her Art Nouveau immersed in the realm of still and beauty. When she was young she danced improvisational dance, a new eclectiscism of tradition and romance inside striptease. She met the Poet while taking one of his writing classes at the university, she was young, yet troubled, they became friends and later lovers.

There are whispers of government atrocities in foreign lands from Radio Freedom, a foreign bandwith, people start to question their head. Student protests begin to round, the Poet becomes an activist. After a political action, a poetry reading, they light candles for the death of democracy at a local church. The political actions of the government in foreign lands, the deaths of children, the suicide of one of his students, the death of someone in his family. He tells the truth about everything and everyone he meets, begins the organization of student strikes. It gets hot, the couple are afraid they are going to be taken in, put in a mental institution, no one comes around for coffee anymore. People give the Poet upper cuts at the university. He has a Paris contact, an international Poet friend in Interpol, they meet for coffee . . .

The Gecko is becoming even more lost or misconstrued. He is drinking more, sleeping more, in his off hours . . . he stares in the mirror, overcome by depression, goes back to bed. His mind spins, the Artist Wife, the magic, the love . . . he sings to himself in his sleep, breaks with the light of morning, without dreams. His thoughts are running, today he forgets to feed the cat.

He is sweating, the Artist Wife is expected back at the apartment after dance class. She does not arrive. He begins to sweat profusely, he writes . . . “she did not arrive at the expected hour” in his journal. He waits an hour. He waits two hours. He starts to feel sick. Reckless, he leaves the van, runs into the building, accosts the Conciegre. “I have orders to search the premises” he tells him “I am an agent of the state.” The Conciegre asks for I.D. Reluctantly, he gets the key to the apartment and leads the KGB agent upstairs to the apartment of the Artist Wife. Quickly he goes from room to room, as if he chases her shadow but by the time he reaches the room she is in, she has already left. Why isn’t she here, the rooms are empty in silence, she is not here anymore. He looks, he looks, drinks in the last of the beautiful space, swallowing hatred . . . he rushes past the Conciegre, he says “she is dead”. As the Gecko proceeds down the stairs the Conciegre yells after him, “she never lived here”, “she is dead.” He becomes more agitated and hurries back to the van. Over the phone, he explains to his supervisor that she has not returned from dance class. The supervisor puts out a code red alert, to pick up the Artist Wife and the Poet and take them to Mount St. Foy, a mental hospital. Distracted, the Gecko mumbles, “she is dead”, “she is dead”. The Supervisor tells him to take the rest of the day off.

The KGB agent walks. He goes into the art gallery, restless, goes from painting to painting, finally he finds the one. It is a picture of great beauty, all in warm yellows . . . he stops and takes it in . . . he sees great beauty, he desires great beauty . . . he takes out his pen, steps up to the painting and starts to sign the bottom corner with his name, a Musee guard yells. As the Musee guards sequester him, he yells “that is me”, “that is me” as they drag him away. The Curator hearing the chaos comes out of his office. Quietly disturbed, he gently rubs the pen tracings off with a cloth. He looks at the work of a yellow day, shakes his head sadly and goes back to his office. The painting is hanging there still, for the love of the Muse.

love,


Rebecca





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