He was an Ethiopian prince and she the daughter of a wealthy widower, an Egyptian merchant, who, for reasons unknown, had settled in Vevey, Switzerland. They met one evening at a diplomats’ ball.
What are you doing?! I ran forward, peering nervously into the pit of the tunnel. I dropped my license, she matter-of-factly replied, bent over, and fished among the refuse and debris.
It was the Fifties, the era of enforced happiness. The smile was the face of the moment and those who refused to conform were coerced into an obedient butterfly flutter of the lips or else denied their Bosco.
Convalescing from recent illness, comfortably ensconced in a black leather easy chair at home, I sit perfectly still, the paper spread open on my lap, careful not to spill the steaming contents of the tea cup resting on the crook of my knee or stain my fingers on the ink of distant unrest.
Today the surgeon cut a little cancer out of me. A parcel of myself that had grown wild and threatened to consume the rest. Hair has that tendency too if left to its own devices. Barber and surgeon are historically related at the root. Only the instruments have changed. Cut it out, you insist, cancer is no laughing matter. Cancer kills you if you don’t uproot it. It’s a kind of shoot-out at the O.K. Corral, the surgeon a high-paid gunslinger, or rather knife wielder, hired to have it out with my renegade cells.
Its an unlikely story, I know, but history is full of the unlikely. Look at David and Goliath. Look at Jonah, the reluctant prophet, ferried to his destiny in the belly of a whale. Look at Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, for heavens sake!