12 December 2008

'As thick as thieves and as sick as secrets' sure was an interesting way to sign a thank you missive, don't you think? Nevertheless, she had an attic window overlooking the old cathedral. Her sheets smelled like frankincense; her hair like myrrh. We stayed up all night smelting gold in her fathers cellar. Fell asleep counting raindrops on the air conditioner like Fred Astaire's ghost.

Sixth Avenue, just below Ninth Street. Across from the old chemist. On the back of an old Christmas card she'd scribbled, "Five parts Anhydrous Borax, 40 parts #70 silica sand, 10 parts soda ash, 20 parts sodium nitrate, oxidizer." Orange peels and mildew. The smell of any self-respecting cellar. I was out back in the concrete shed underneath the cherry tree wrapped in tinfoil for the winter. Branches older than relatives and roots deeper than wars.

In the rain at the red lights we weaved a word about how the same water which so boundlessly pours from our kitchen faucets today once bathed Caesar, Pontius Pilate and Dr. King. Later we relaxed, listened to Leonard and made pomme d'ambres until the news came on. She had spent most of the day hunting for pure ambergris to no avail. We were in New York after all not The Maldives but I loved her too much to say so.

He kept an empty old plastic bottle of Duane Reade rubbing alcohol in the medicine cabinet that he'd filled Monopolowa - which is really just a fancy way of saying "vodka made from boiling potatoes". No wonder he spent so much time in the washroom at those stuffy dinner parties.

But anyway back to the pomanders and the civet musk - even Chanel said their natural civet scent in No. 5 had been replaced with a synthetic substitute for the past 10 years. I believe them. I mean, why bother a hungry little civet unless you absolutely musk?

No comments: