Monday, April 28, 2008

Time-Wise: The Ballad of Marie Curie

When we were wee chocolate, I could never write Google Magic. I was the inner life of pets, a bedtime story of punishment and reward, a slippery-haired wicked phenomenon of spicy eccentricity.

“These are my shoes,” said Ms. Magic. “My deepest, darkest fantasies in the news.”

My hotel stories were just so much baggage—two cents and a fortune cookie. I was the country mouse, but I wasn’t sure whether she was urbane or mouse. Aquarius, yes; rodent, questionable. Magic, indubitably.

“I have an idea,” she said.

“I fought the law and the law won,” said I.

“Ooh, how yummy crush. Did you tell your diary?”

The question gave me goosebumps, and I got that sinking feeling—I did not want to be the passenger in my life. I wanted to be the passenger in her life, her dream inspiration, her skin-toned chronicle.

“Me, I carry my misspent youth,” said the Missus.

“I’ll be your donkey,” qouth slavering I.

“My ass.”

“Your Oprah ocean—who else could I be?”

“Holiday memories?”

“Three wishes, then,” still slavering.

“Shouldn’t I be granting, thief?”

“As you wish.”

“So. Second chance, collector personality.”


“Comono, biblioteca boy. You got imagination in there, too?”

“If I could stop time—”

“Well, you can’t, Ms. Sarkisian. Nor turn it back either.”

“Dream journey?”

“Granted. Cleveland, I presume.”

“I’m an Erie baby, baby.”

“You’re just troubled, darlin’. Last wish. Andale.”

“Two peas in a pod.”

“Odd choice.”

“We are—”

“Are what?”

“—two peas in a pod.”

“Eric and Leif?”

“Batman and Robin?”

“Vanelli and Liberace?”

“There’s a difference?”

“Enough of this. I need your hospital money, honey.”

We were in the atrium of funk, exasperated earth scientists, the Billy Bob Thorntons of plastic surgery. Evil ears filled with persimmons. Our fanny packs were filled to bursting with the Lord’s golden promise. Mangos.

“Bubbalicious burritos, man.”

“Which of us said that? I’ve lost track of the markers.”

“Let’s count.” (This is me.) “Okay: I think you said ‘honey, money.’”

“Thank you. So, you’re ‘bubbalicious burritos, man’?”

“I suppose.”

“And I am ‘man’?”

“Only in my fantasies.”

“Whoa, nemesis. Who else can I be?”

“Polish, I’d think, though I’d worry about Maria Sklodowska.”

“Hear they make a mean kolache.”

We put down the interrogator. We were disco-yummy, one of the year’s best. Roger was moved, Gene was doubtful. He found cheese in the dialogue, we were an ooze of oozy sludge, but the gates were still wide open, who could deny it? Maria was lurking in the Nobel shadows, all two of her, her pockets lined with radioactive isotopes. She was a 20,000 zloty banknote, glowing in the rippling dark, a blue-green ionized fairy, headmistress of the Warsaw Radium Institute, marigold spinster after Pierre’s fractured skull, after the Pauline scandal, after the polonium of extramarital radiographic spunk.

Hear me roar.

She sold los dos nobeles for una vestido colorado. The Swedes were not amused, but she had “bidness,” she said. She couldn’t be bothered by a gang of Kronorheads, she was hot for Hollywood, Raymond Chandler, the viscosity of Marlowe. She ran the streets of LA in her red threads, her Bela Lugosi widow’s peak, her casual interest in the magnetic properties of various steels.

“Name yourself after your husband’s chair,” we said.

“I would rather the Floating University,” she said. She smiled ruefully, teeth aglow, her beloved pretty blue green. “I am a blue wave,” she added, handing out her petite curies like candies. We passed. She passed out. No safety measures, these distractions from her scientific labors.

“Fancy some butter pecan?” said the Missuss.

Maria Sklodowska was still reeling. Out of the corner of her eye, a Marian apparition, blue and rose, bare feet, but an ophidiophile to boot. Ball pythons on both wrists, Helena Bonham Carter the boa around her shoulders.

“Cecil,” said HBC, giving it the British SESS-il, don’t you know.

“I am not a right triangle,” said Maria Sklodowska. “I am completely isosceles.”

We tabled the butter pecan, for fear of higher math. We still had the rapport of the possible. Muy posible.

“I am the only,” she said.

“I am the only to win,” she added.

“I am the only to win two,” warbling on.

“And the mother of another,” we cried, and did we ever—all our goodbyes, all our earliest memories, all our portraits down the long nosy corridors of time.

[Okay: those Sunday Scribblers gave us a Wendy's Buffet-ful of prompts a while back, said to pick one and run. I was hungry: I took just about one of each and ran to the bank. The urchins could choose as many as they wanted, weaving or not. Somehow Marie crawled in, too.]

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Blogger San said...

A glow-in-the-dark smorgasbord, Paschal. After eating all of that, your insides must light up like a 1940s clock face.

And all that spicy eccentricity-- bubbalicious burritos, chocolate, peas in a pod--it goes down with a little help from Ms. Magic's shoes. I believe they're kicking every morsel of Google Enchantment down your collector personality's highly flexible gullet.

Except for the persimmons. They keep flowing out of your ears.

5:34 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Ms San: I'd say you've had more than a smidgen of higher math. Time for the butter pecan.

5:38 PM  
Blogger rebecca said...

i'm actually speechless. i felt i was reading blurbs from a multitude of stories, somehow convoluted together -- difficult to follow....yet i couldn't stop reading (had to read it twice!)....and still the second time was just as confused as the first!

still, whether i understood it or not, the only thing that was very clear is that your writing is brilliant --

8:45 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Thank you, Rebecca. As you probably know by now, convoluted is my middle name. (Actually, Murat is, but that's convoluted enough.) Never try too hard to seek understanding or meaning here: sound and rhythm and surreal conjunctions are what drives the poetry and fiction in Murat-ville, which is why I have such a hard time taking the Scribbler prompts head on. As our old friend Emily D would say (but probably mean quite differently), "tell it slant."

Thanks for hanging in for the bumpy ride: it is much appreciated.

5:33 AM  

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