Chapter Eleven

Hey HCE!

Bethany wrote, with the help of her Rodney Strong Reserve.

I’m sorry we got cut off tonight. If the connection had been good I’d have told you how beautiful the sky is out here. How you can see your shadow by the light of Sirius the Dog Star when the moon is busy putting on her gown, and how horses are the best teachers in the world. I am very glad that you’re a fan of Led Zeppelin, Mr. HCE, because there was a time in my life when I didn’t think I could live without them. I have since learned that a person can live without almost anything, but life is sweeter if we are kind to ourselves and if we share.

I know already that you are kind. I hope that you will share. I know already, too, that you are a man who is searching for something even though some people might think that you have already found it. I bet you thought that you had found it too once upon a time right? I think it’s very interesting that we have to keep reminding ourselves not to STOP where we are, not to get too comfortable with our life. If I am a dancer Mr. HCE I am a dancer the way the Fool in the Tarot is a dancer, en pointe on top of the grandest mountain in the world, alone with my dog—all my animal desires—and with all of my possessions on my back. I have no fear, only trust, trust in the divine nature of the universe.

So Dear HCE (and who among the match girls of the world knows the source of your nom de net but me?) I’d like to take this time tonight to tell you how much I am looking forward to our brunch on Sunday. It means a lot to me that you’d actually consider driving all this way on your day off. And really everybody knows there are no days off in production right? So Mr. HCE, Mr. produced by William Stover, I have been around the block and I know you are walking away from your forty million dollar baby just to see me. And I am here to tell you that there is something special planned by the universe for us even if it all just ends with a brunch in the mountains at a place just a step or two from The Fool’s Grand Precipice.

I cannot wait.


The wine was getting to her a little, but it felt good. A girl’s reach should exceed her grasp, or what’s a metaphor? This whole matter of actually studying for your PhD was just a manifestation of men who didn’t want you in their club, right?

WRONG, actually. God, she was behind. She had two papers due in two weeks, plus all the reading. The good news was: she was beginning to creep up to the edges of her dissertation. Somehow it would have to do with music being the instrument of the soul’s expression.

Of late Bethany had become once again obsessed with Beethoven’s Late Quartets, those indescribably beautiful demonstrations of mastery that so occupied the great composer at the end of his life. Beethoven came to the conclusion, upon finishing his titanic Ninth Symphony, that the string quartet was the most challenging of all musical forms.

It was very much a matter of interest to Bethany that Beethoven had kept up a correspondence with Bettina Brentano (modern scholarship tells us that she, most likely, was his famous “Immortal Beloved”) regarding his perceived relationship between music, the spirit, and the soul. He wrote of music’s being “a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.”

Bethany’s energies had seriously begun to coalesce around the idea of writing about music and soul in terms of Depth Psychology. It came to her about the time she and Benvolio had finally ended it. In a way, the divorce was simple: Ben had chosen his music over his muse, if such a thing made any sense at all. For her part, Bethany realized at some point that her aggressive stance regarding both teaching AND her PhD had become too much for Ben. The high octane excitement of their life together—not to mention the incredible sex—was really the thing he valued most in the relationship. And she had simply wanted more.

--More more more more more! she said to Martin, who was wearing the doggy look of curiosity. I am the girl who always wants more. Higher. Deeper.

She took Martin’s big lug of a head in her hand:

--And I do mean DEEPER, baby. You got that?

Martin gave her a sort of a guilty pout as if to say unh, yeah, but whaddaya want ME to do about it? I mean I can nuzzle your hand, and I can definitely lick your toes, you know, or…but…like, I’m just a dog.

--Yes, I know you’re just a dog, but you’re the best dog in the whole wide world. Except for Rags, cause Rags was here first and she has already been through TWO whole men, or even three if you’re really counting, haven’t you Rags?

The old shepherd sort of semi-nodded her head, blinked a couple of times, and exhaled heavily. She wasn’t much for cheap meanderings under the influence of alcohol, even if it was sixty bucks a bottle wholesale.

--I don’t know if any man’s gonna be able to handle this, guys. Especially a man who works thirty hours a day in the first place. A guy in the BUSINESS, Martin? Is that what we’re looking for? Again? Oh my my my my my….

Next: Nightsong

Intruso, a cinematically postmodern love story

  1. Intruso
  2. Contentment
  3. Her voice was shiny
  4. Timed Writing
  5. On Location
  6. In the Beginning was Rock n Roll
  7. Cell Phone Interruptus
  8. The Hooch
  9. Blackbirds at One O'Clock
  10. Probiotics and the Muse
  11. Email by Rodney Strong
  12. Nightsong
  13. Dope and Flax Seed
  14. Free to a God Home
  15. Lemonade and Consequences

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