Fishing in Beirut

February 23, 2010

Part 4: Causality (scene 5)

Filed under: Character : Aria, Character : Frank, Part 4 : Causality — fishinginbeirut @ 10:12

Aria went to the graveyard. Laura was studying, so she walked there alone, a grey-cloud sky impassive overhead. It was a twenty minute walk, heading eastward.
Pere Lachaise cemetery is a city of the illustrious dead. You can eat ice-cream and stare at Balzac. Maps are easily available, celebrity locations highlighted in red. On its leafy, peaceful walkways, one feels detached nonetheless, and to say that it is morbid gives quite the wrong impression. Aria felt light and kind of sad.
She was looking for Jim Morrison, and was excited to be doing so. A curious, simple moment awaited. She followed curling pathways, the map held at her side, sweet anticipation for something so mundane. The headstone of a famous man, the inscription.

Frank stood, reading. On the back of Oscar Wilde’s tomb lay a quotation from The Ballad Of Reading Gaol, a paean to Oscar’s separate status, and the sorrowful life of the outcast. “Good man yourself Oscar,” said Behan upon Wilde’s death. “You had it every way.” Frank smiled in pity, and compassion.
He had never made the trip to Pere Lachaise before, and had often wanted to. Today was as good as any. A dirt-grey sky, a rain-threat. He felt safe in the company of Oscar.
Frank had never really cared about The Doors, but maybe it would be interesting to visit Jim Morrison’s grave as well. His final resting place, after a lurid, bloated life.

Aria stood in wonder. This was fascinating, the simple, unadorned headstone, just James Douglas Morrison – no graffiti, nothing. A guard hovered nearby, making sure it stayed that way. Someone had placed a feather and an arrow on the ground. There were a few tourists circling, and then a young, scruffy guy arrived on the scene. His body language was uncertain, ill at ease.
He looked to be in his mid-twenties – tall and thin, but really not her type. She turned away. Now he was looking at her. She flicked her hair and swallowed; not feeling uncomfortable, just standing still. Yes, he was watching her all right. The guard’s radio crackled alive, and she flinched for a moment, and her eyes met this stranger’s, briefly. She saw his flickering pain.
Frank gazed at this beautiful girl, her long hair and gentle dark eyes, and thought himself desperately ugly, and blinked. His head lowered, and he coughed.
Aria smiled in kindness, but he didn’t see this, and then he turned his back and walked away. It was all too much to believe there were girls like this right now. If he was never going to touch what he held in his dreams, it was best not to fall into such reverie. Things just happen, eyes meet.
Frank left the graveyard, and descended into the Metro station. He jumped the barrier after an old man, kicking the gate to pass freely through. When the train came he boarded quickly, his stomach rumbling now, his nose cold. The carriage rattled, steadily.
Back on the surface, Aria wandered round. She passed writers, artists, and whole families with German names, all buried equally, in the soft tended earth. She paused in thought on a bench.

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