Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Entry #20 Hermit Crab Reading Rainbow

Our twentieth anniversary!  That's sweet.

I fixed this story, so here it is:

M. Proust

             Proust found the body of a dead boy once.  Someone had dug him up, it was obvious from the look of him, but there were no graves or graveyards anywhere in the area.  The boy was beautiful and newishly dead, so Proust scooped him up on impulse and carried him to the closest house of a friend he could think of.
            “Marcel,” said his friend.  “This boy is dead.”
            “I know,” Proust said.  “I know.  What do we do with him?”
            “Put him back where you found him,” said the friend. 
            “I don’t even remember where it was,” Proust said, even though he was a little embarrassed to admit it. 
            “Well put him somewhere new then, just get rid of him,” said his friend.  “This isn’t good for either of us.”
            “Yes, of course.”  Proust didn’t want to impose any longer.  He wasn’t a strong man and couldn’t really dig.  He’d never had to, not really.  He wouldn’t have had the strength for six feet. 
            He carried the boy for some time, farther and farther from the city, before he realized he didn’t know where he was.  He had to do something; he was lucky to have made it that far.  He couldn’t loop back, there was too great a risk of being caught. 
            Proust had been carrying the boy for hours now and was starting to smell like him.  The boy’s hair was in his clothing.  The boy was stiff in his arms, like a cord of wood or a small statue.  Proust kept moving, however slowly, until he came to a river and the site of a bridge underway.  Everyone had gone home and the barrelss and the tools and the buckets of mortar and cement were temporarily abandoned.  The bridge itself hung unfinished, like the statue of a cliff. 
            Proust carried the boy to a field nearby the bridge.  He brought bucket after bucket to the site, until he’d gathered three.  He hid the boy in plain view; he cast him in cement.  Proust was very tired after that, but he stood up the cast and stared at it for some time.
            After that, he came back to the spot, almost daily, for years, to watch the boy encased in cement. Then one day, Proust just stopped going. 
            A little while later, Proust’s friend died of what someone called Leukemia. He had been sick for some time, but hid it well until close to the end.  They buried Proust’s friend in a graveyard, headstone and all.  Proust visited that stone again and again.  And sometimes he would visit the statue. The dead boy was one of the most beautiful boys Proust had ever seen.  He was still, at the stone or the statue, and just watched them, anticipating nothing.  He walked the miles between them, rested, and then walked back.  And he loved each of these stones very much.  They had something so clean and precise about them.
I wonder if Bob Villa was part of a subversive ad campaign to sell wood?


  1. Aoife didn't want to read beyond the first sentence

  2. Also it's still a couple years before our twentieth anniversary.