Now that Cancer and Fishnet Stockings is published, I’m determined to get serious about that short story I’ve been working on. My characters are well defined and the plot firmly established in my mind but the action seems to be going nowhere! I’m sitting in front of my computer, tapping my fingers and straining my imagination—where does the murderer ditch the gun? I wonder—when my eye catches the leaves of that lovely olive tree outside the large picture window opposite my desk. There’s a gentle breeze blowing and…damn! There I go again. Focus, I say to myself. The gun, the gun!
It is curious, though, that after years of stagnation, that tree decides to produce an abundance of those messy little round purple things that look like olives but are non-edible and serve no purpose other than to stick to the bottom of my shoes and leave stains on my white carpet.
Why only yesterday, I asked the refrigerator repairman to take his shoes off at the front door but he said he had “booties” he could wear instead and that seemed to solve the problem until he grumbled something about having to return to the truck to get some tools (don’t they always) and forgot to take the booties off. With such a short memory span, I hoped he remembered he was repairing the ice maker and not the water filter.
My confidence in his ability to think quickly on his feet was restored when he, without benefit of paper or an adding machine, calculated the cost of parts and labor to exactly the nicely rounded figure of $500. I wrote him a check and quickly set about to get those purple stains out of the carpet.
Looking at that damn tree now, I wonder if it’s too large to remove and what I could possibly replace it with that would be as lovely without the mess but I can’t think about that until I figure out what do with this friggin gun or was it a knife that killed Amy, no, Diane who was caught cheating with her ex-husband’s half-cousin’s brother-in-law while on vacation in Cabo or Cuba last Feb, er, June! Fireplace? basement? Wood box? I know, I begin to type, I’ll bury it in the…when the sound of loud music interrupted my thoughts. Now what?
My neighbor is blasting a piece I recognize from Wagner’s “Die Walkure.” As the music begins its dramatic climb toward a familiar and frenzied crescendo, my head jerks from side to side and my fingers fly over the keyboard keeping the same rhythm and producing a stunning new language that looks something like this…
Xhoughtouer jgohljklehljfokeoi nkh djjgoejiorhdkljoituhlkgjklertjgioehibbjiddb
Hmmm. A new genre? I could call it “musiterature.”
Anyway, curious, now, about the story behind the opera, I google “Die Walkure” and read the synopsis. It seems a Walkirin woman unhappily married by a one-eyed stranger meets a man whose father was a wolf and turns out to be her twin brother so they marry and run off together. There’s something about a sword stuck in a tree, a dragon and a dwarf, a vengeful God, his pregnant daughter and a ring of fire that only her unborn son – a future hero – can enter to claim his mother.
Undoubtedly, there must have been olive trees outside of Wagner’s home, too.