Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"Il me parle tout bas...

...Je vois la vie en rose." La Vie en Rose by Edith Piaf. (Translation: "It speaks to me low...I see life in the pink.")

It was a dark and quirky night; full of the gusty grumbles and windsy hushing of the weather and the people trying to study; and the thumpity-thump of heavy footsteps above were matched with a distant piano playing epic concertos and sonatas below, as voices rose and fell all around like the swirling and rushing of the tide during a storm.

I sat in my room with my roommate, Jolly Berry, and we had the lights out, to see out the window into the dark night, because Giglia had told us there was a swan in the blackness which, in daytime, would be Lake Bob.

We peered into the inky murk. Nothing. We peered more.

"I think I see something white," said Jolly Berry.

"Mmm." I agree, straining to see if that patch of slightly less dark was actually a living creature or merely a reflection of the little light that spread out from the dorms to the darkness outside. We saw a flashlight weaving below our window and yoo-hooed down to it, to discover it was a security guard, and we asked him what he could see. He replied that it might be a swan, or it might just be a weirdly whitish goose, amongst the other geese which populated our lake.

Three girls appeared in the scene now, being visible in the small pool of light shed by the security guard's flashlight, and we watched as they, being guided by the flashlight shone helpfully across the grass, picked their way through the slightly mushy ground to the edge of the lake, where they hoped to see the hypothetical swan. They saw nothing, but in the brief time when the flashlight was playing across the water, I pulled out my little binoculars and looked again, from my window to the water. after frustrating moments of attempting to adjust the focus without having anything to focus on, I finally was rewarded with a glimpse of a long-necked, graceful, white bird which majestically drifted around the geese, who now looked very small and homely beside it.

I passed the binoculars to Jolly Berry, and we enjoyed the scene until the flashlight and all the company it afforded disappeared into the black night, and we went back to our normal lives. Rain began to fall, and we heard some thunderous voices raised next door, and then a door energetically thrown open, and a rat-tatting on our door immediately after.

"May I come in? Oh my word, it's ridiculous! It was so sad--oh, here are your keys," she handed Jolly Berry her car keys, "and he couldn't figure out where your clutch pedal was--I mean, he always drives an automatic, and it took him forever to figure it out."

"Aren't clutch pedals always in the same place?" asked Jolly Berry amusedly, but with a slight grimace thinking of her car. "Right next to the break you know. So your left foot pushes that while you're right foot accelerates and brakes."

"I don't know," she flopped down on the floor, "but he figured it out eventually. Say!" she bolted up again, "I have so ridiculously much homework to do! See you later."

She exited and silence (except for the aforementioned gusty-grumbly-windsy-hushing-thumpity-thumping-music-and-voice sounds) fell. I did laundry. Jolly Berry typed on her computer. The evening drifted by in peace, interspersed with Jolly Berry informing me of the life story of our swan.

The Swan

His name was Cob, and he was in love. He always saw Pen as the most beautiful, the most amazing. He admired every aspect of her, all the things which she was, and she represented--the ladylike serenity, and her strength and vicious honor. Everyone always said what a perfect match they were. It all went along swimmingly until The Tragedy. After Pen's miscarriage, she seemed to go out of her head, from Cob's perspective. They had weathered rough waters before, though, so he wasn't too worried--even when she disappeared, because a lady needs her space every now and then--until he got the divorce papers, and it was all made final.
He had nowhere to go, nothing to do. His life lost all its meaning, and he became a drifter, flying with Canadian Geese in a drastic effort to distract himself from the loneliness that enveloped his entire being. They never stayed long in any one place, but kept moving, flying, drifting. Cob had the idea, in the back of his mind, that he would find some place--some lake or water somewhere that would fit, and allow him to live--not forgetting, and not changing the past, but to survive, to exist, or perhaps even to heal.
It's in this time now, the drifting-searching time, that we catch our glimpse of Cob. We probably will never know the end of his story. In a way, it's tragedy that makes his beauty so surreal, so other-worldly. We are honored to be a stop on your journey. Know, Cob, that you have brought a little joy into our hum-drum lives, so you may feel that your efforts ain't been in vain for nothing.


We have fun in our room.

Good luck, Cob.

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