Brian Patrick Brown . . . William Decosta . . . Barbara Gauntt . . . Donna Kanin . . . Gary Freedman. Gary Freedman. Peculiar names we all have. Do you think we've all been singled out, chosen for some extraordinary moment in life, or are we all cursed with the mark of Cain?
I'm afraid Patrick was a martyred saint. A difficult name to live up to, wouldn't you say? And who is Barbara? She's a librarian. So are they all, all librarians. Except for me, of course. I'm no librarian. But perhaps I should be.
They do nothing, librarians. They direct people to books. That's all. But they impart the information they possess as if they were disclosing some mysterious secret. Hidden knowledge, forbidden knowledge. Things known only to librarians. They do it in hushed tones. "And where do I find biographies?" "Biographies? They're 92 in the Dewey Decimal system." All in a day's work. And that's just about all librarians do. I should be a librarian. It wouldn't be much of a step up from the life I currently lead, which amounts to nothing.
In a Norse myth, Barbara was a sinner who murdered her husband. Will Barbara Gauntt live up to that, do you think? Which would I prefer her to live up to, the sinner or the murderer? Who knows? No. I think Barbara Gauntt will live out her days directing people to 92 in the Dewey Decimal system. Always in hushed tones, of course. She was born in a library and she will die in a library. She will answer patrons questions -- in English or in Spanish -- till her dying day.
Ah, I see the perpetual struggle has begun. Oh, we all struggle so, don't we?
The female librarian. (If that's not being redundant.) The female librarian is like a fig. Secretive, mysterious. The librarian makes a show of her secrets.
The proper way to eat a fig, in society, is to split it in four, holding it by the stump, and open it, so that it is a glittering, rosy, moist, honied, heavy-petalled four-petalled flower. Then you throw away the skin, after you have taken off the blossom with your lips. But the vulgar way is just to put your mouth to the crack, and take out the flesh in one bite.
The fig is a very secretive fruit.
The Italians vulgarly say, it stands for the female part; the fig-fruit: the fissure, the yoni, the wonderful moist conductivity towards the center. Involved, interned. One small way of access only, and this close-curtained from the light.
Sap that smells strange on your fingers, that even goats won't taste it; And when the fig has kept her secret long enough. So it explodes, and you see through the fissure, the scarlet. And the fig is finished, the year is over.
That's how the fig dies, showing her crimson through the purple slit like a wound, the exposure of her secret, on the open day. Like a prostitute, the bursten fig, makes a show of her secret.
That's how women die too.
Would I like to go for a walk? Will I go for a walk. No. I'm quite sure. I don't want to go for a walk. I'll be like a sulky little boy, and stay put. I'll stay here.
Have I ever really loved anybody? Well, yes and no. But not finally. Finally, no. I don't know whether I want to love anybody. Well, let me reconsider that. Perhaps I do. I want the finality of love. Just one woman. Just one woman. There are times I don't think that a woman and nothing but a woman will ever make my life. I really don't. Lacking a woman, a companionship with a man would do. I sometimes believe that. He'd certainly relieve the sting of boredom.
What do I live for? When I worked I lived for my work. But I haven't worked in many years now. I suppose I live because I'm living. I find that one needs one single, pure activity. I would call love a single, pure activity. But I don't really love anybody. Not now. Do I mean that if there isn't a woman then there's nothing? More or less that, seeing there's no God. God. I'm not sure if there is a God. There's a higher power, to be sure. But certainly not the God as he's commonly conceived. I don't believe in that.
What is it that I really want? I want to sit with my beloved in a field, with daisies growing all around us. That is what I want.