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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Counterpoint. By John von Daler

                          "Small talk!" he snarled. "Just damn American small talk!"
                "You could at least have asked her what her name was!" said Ann, slapping both hands on the steering wheel. "In this country people are interested in each other!"

         "Absolutely nothing to be interested in!" he muttered and watched the dark forest glide past the window. "She was only interested in her clothes and her children!"
                "And what's so wrong with that?"
                "It ain't Mozart!"
                "Nope. And what has Mozart got to do with anything?"
                Connecticut on a dark, late autumn night reminded him of the black forests of middle Europe - without the danger. These trees had lived through two hundred years of peace and you could feel it. In Europe the wars came and went with the seasons and the forests felt dangerous, haunted with wandering souls. How could anyone compose Don Giovanni in a country like this?
                "If you are trying to claim some kind of cultivation for yourself, then you'll have to try again. Of all the snobby, impolite, insufferable ways of being a guest. The lady was in tears!"
                "Yeah, well, and that's because I did finally speak..."
                "You say nothing all evening, and then you give her a verbal jab in the face!"
                "I just mentioned that we all have children and that we all have on clothes."
                They were silent. She gassed up the Renault and it picked up speed over a little hill and rounded a curve. Along the sides of the road there were dead leaves, once tinted from red to orange to yellow, now brown and soggy.
                She thought of her gregarious father meeting his parishers on the street, "Howdy, Missy! You certainly are looking fine and dolled up and fit for a high time! I declare you make our lord proud to be your creator!" And then the woman would answer that the dress was just a silly old rag and that the reverend certainly did look distinguished himself and that she would see him in church tomorrow. Now that the sinning and the repentance and the forgiveness all seemed in place, they could walk on, each having communicated what they hardly could have spoken out loud.
                I guess I did not marry my father like old Freud says. I guess I married a silent Austrian. The woman at the wheel of the car went silent too.
                It's the damn Polly-Anna sentimental innocence of the whole thing! he thought. Give me an honest sinner like Mozart any day over a hypocritical ingĂ©nue!
                They drove up their driveway. He got out of the car and walked through the outdoor spotlight to the garage door. As he reached down to pull the door up they both thought, I wonder if we will make love tonight?

America vs. Europe?
Man vs. Woman?
Let me give you a piece 
of my mind.
Click on the picture
to buy "Pieces"


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