What is This?

About six months ago, the tunnel courier delivered to me a series of "comedies" written by Ephraim P. Noble from 1968-1974. Maybe there is an older meaning to the word "comedies" that I'm not familiar with, because they seem nothing like comedies to me. In any case, I have scanned the covers of each of these very short stories, and hope to post them here on a regular basis.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lisa [1], Lisa [2]

"Lisa [1], Lisa [2]"

In 1972 I was in love with two women named Lisa, who happened to be, in fact, the same woman. It was a vicious trick. Lisa [1] sometimes dressed up as Lisa [2], wearing a wig and hippy clothing. I hated the hippies, but only in the abstract it turned out.

Lisa [1] was a wonderful kisser, and we spent most of our time kissing, in the stacks of Penn State’s main library, beneath the abandoned railroad bridge that crossed Atherton and Edgerton, and in an old barn on the outskirts of State College. Lisa [2] smelled like lemons, and introduced me to the films of Samuel Fuller. She very often dressed as an Indian from the American west, in a short deerskin skirt and full war paint that rubbed off on the meadow grass.

Lisa [2] and I often talked of the future in apocalyptic terms. Her vision was a return to the natural ways. She hated Alexander Hamilton for contaminating Jefferson’s agrarian utopia with National Banks and the abstraction of money into a symbol rather than something of value in and of itself. Between her economic theories and her legs, I lost all sense of time.

One night, on my apartment floor, Lisa [1] asked me about Lisa [2]. How does she know, I wondered. I had kept them perfectly separate, perfectly secret from each other. I came clean, I told her the truth. “There's another I love, equally. She reminds me of you.”

Lisa [1] slapped me hard across the face. My eyes watered. She disappeared into the bathroom, and a few minutes later Lisa [2] came out, with a bow and arrow. A copper-tipped arrow, pointed at me. She laughed. I recognized that laugh as the laugh of Lisa [1].

The arrow missed my heart but lodged deeply in my shoulder, pinning me to the pine-wood floor. I pooled my own blood with my hand, trying to keep it close, as if the rescuers who never came would put it back in me.

Lisa [1] leaned down and handed me a piece of paper, folded in half. She whispered in my ear, meet me at wharf 12 two months from today, and I’ll be both Lisa’s for you again.

God, what was wharf 12? The map made no sense. I took it to translators, my bum arm in a sling. My fingers went green. I counted wharves from the top down, and the bottom up. I could never get to 12 before passing out.

I really wanted her map to mean something.

I still do.

No comments:

Post a Comment