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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Golem 2. By John von Daler

                    The #puppeteer was gay in most of the senses of that word, but not queer in any way. In that most discreet of cities, #Paris, he and his good friend rented a very cozy room in a small hotel on the left bank. They deposited their suitcases and then tucked their little feisty puppet into bed, his bishop's balding head resting on two pillows, his mischievous eye cocked at the room like some detail from a story by Edgar Allan #Poe. Then hand in hand they waltzed by the reception clerk, his polite gaze following them with a wink and an oo la la! and they disappeared into Paris for a glass of Chablis and the occasional oyster.

                Hours later when they returned to the hotel, the discretion of Paris seemed to have evaporated. The same clerk, now with glaring eyes and reddened skin, stood watch in the lobby over the two suitcases they had deposited in their room hours ago. One of them was open and they could see the miniature bishop's robe hanging out of the opening.
                Still in relatively high spirits, they enquired in the language of the land as to the strange new placement of their belongings. After all, they had just arrived and had thought of staying on the next four or five days.
                "Ah, yes, Messieurs! We do not pry into the habits of our guests!" said the little man with a thin black mustache, a decidedly blue hue entering into his skin that only seconds earlier had been red. Now he looked like a portrait by David Hockney. "But we must not lose the wonderful ladies who clean our rooms!"
                "The ladies?" asked the puppeteer.
                "Yes! The ladies!" exclaimed the concierge, and pushed back a lock of thin, oiled black hair that had fallen down across his brow. "The ladies are very proper, very Christian women from the West Indies! And they do not give us or our guests any trouble. Sirs, you may live your lives as you please..." and here the little man studied the map of Paris on the wall by his counter as if the moral possibilities of all of France were listed there. "...but you may not practice #VooDoo in our establishment..." Here he drew a deep breath. "To me, it makes no difference, VooDoo, or any other practice under God..." and he crossed himself, "...but The Ladies know VooDoo when they see it!"
                Our two friends looked at each other in astonishment.
                The little man wiped his brow with a handkerchief. "The lovely cleaning lady entered your room to turn down the cover of your bed. When she saw the monster on the pillow, she screamed a scream that all of Paris must have heard and I had to leave my desk here and run up the stairs where I found her on the floor, sir, in a swoon." A tear fell from his eye. "And I too saw the VooDoo god on the bed." He looked at both the men with haughty pride. "We run a proper establishment here. You must move at once."
                As the little man turned his back on them he muttered, "...without charge. Just remove the golem." He sank behind his desk. "Please take the golem and go!" he whispered.
                At that moment the puppeteer understood that although it may be easy to be gay in Paris, it is difficult to be a puppeteer anywhere, especially when you believe in the puppet.

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