Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Well, somebody’s got to break the ice, and it might as well be me. Here are some excerpts from my diary--my description of 'two female specimens' will amuse people perhaps

July 16, 2011

Mom, dad, Sofi and I arrived in Savannah yesterday, after an eight-hour drive. At first, the city makes but a faint impression. I was enchanted, superficially perhaps, by the monuments and the oaks and the soft Spanish moss. Savannah is immediately pleasant and welcoming. But as the days pass, something deeper about the city begins to register. It penetrates the veneer of casual tourism into the more fundamental places in oneself.

On tombs, on obelisks, from the mouths of passing Georgians, we heard bits of legends from the days of the Civil War. Several buildings have been moved around, and, as a result, there is a general air of disturbance; Savannah is a soup of disgruntled energies, and I can’t help but wondering, whenever I look in this or that window, what jaded eyes once gazed out from its panes.

Two Female Specimens

A Georgian fairy-nymph

a. Hair: blonde, wavy, perfumed
b. Dress: red-white tie-dye shirt; jean shorts with gold embellishments
c. Body type: petite; reminiscent of a doe
d. Complexion: divine; an immaculate peach color
e. Demeanor: regally impartial; sublimely detached—yet childishly na├»ve
f. Interests: interior design
g. Mother: an upright southern lady, taking her little peach on the great college tour

A tropical Anna Karenina

a. Hair: nutmeg, cinnamon, short-ish
b. Dress: a long orange-yellow-purple dress that reaches her angelic ankles. A scherzo of color (bathed in the shadowy shades of a Savannah twilight)
c. Body type: elegantly curvaceous; exquisitely supple and defined
d. Complexion: lightly sun-baked—verging on a strawberry hue –a delicious complextion
e. Demeanor: graceful, reserved, aristocratic, an air of Tolstoy’s Ana Karenina
f. Interests: N/A
g. Eyes: caramel—or perhaps just hazel

July 17, 2011

We woke up early in the morning and took off to Charleston, where we were to meet Eunice [my aunt]. It was a pleasant two-hour drive—dad was reminiscing on his schoolboy days in Texas. He had “hot blood”; he picked fights left and right. It’s amusing to think of now, but back in the day, dad was something of a high school celebrity. He and Kerry—‘the school belle’—were quite the pair, inspiring envy in not a few of their socially ambitious classmates.

Eunice’s house is painted a tomato bisque color, and is without a doubt the largest on the block. It stands boldly amid the conservative blues, grays, and beiges of the neighboring houses. We were all delighted—peering into rooms, walking up stairs, gazing wistfully from the widow’s walk onto the great South Carolina marshes.

O, but it’s such a shame. Eunice devoted so much time and energy to building this house—I write this in one of the guest rooms on the first floor—and she’s putting it on the market; she can’t afford it anymore. The fruits of her labor are quite spoilt.

As she was giving us the tour of the estate—for really, an estate is what it is—all our sighs of approbation, all her anecdotes about the building of the house were tempered with the gloomy fact that the house must be sold—and sold soon. The four of us quivered with excitement: we were going to stay up late, read ghost stories, drink boiling-hot chocolate, watch the moon steal over the marsh and bathe it in its eerie porcelain glow. But at the same time we were keenly aware of a dream’s capacity to balloon into enormity, and deflate, in the end, into obscurity.

The South Carolina Marshes

How should one describe them? They are immense, glistening things. They bear secrets from the past. They form the great forts of the Civil War. How splendid it is to sprint through them on the dock, as if on a gilt sea.

There were blue crabs. Brown Pelicans. Fuzzy Whispering reeds.