In the living room, there is a wall-sized bas relief sculpture of gingko leaves falling like angels in fire. It was made by the man who lived here before us. Who died of a cancer. I don’t know what kind.

I know at San Simeon, the William Hearst mansion, Johnny Weissmuller would dive from the white Grecian statues into a pool lined with lapis and gold.

His first name was Franklin. The man who made the bas relief sculpture. I think it was Franklin. I know the first time Abbott and Costello did “Who’s on First” was in ‘38, on the Kate Smith Hour. I never liked Abbott when I was a child. I thought he seemed cruel. Like a man who smiles while he’s beating his dog.

I don’t know what kind of man Franklin was. If that was his name. He must have been ill when he worked on the sculpture. Burnished gold and flecks of silver. His fingers spread wide to make gingko leaves

I’ve heard in real life Bud Abbott was nice. Lou Costello was not. Who’s on first. You know who’s on first? Me, that’s who. You’re nothing without me. I know Lou must have said that at least once in real life.

Our house is surrounded by dogwood trees, Japanese maples and yellow forsythia. It sits back from the street, hidden, almost. Like I used to hide in the back of the closet. Feet sticking out from behind all the coats.

Hearst had a zoo at his home, at San Simeon, and when he died, some of the animals were allowed to roam free. Now there are zebras who have never lived anywhere else except for the hills of North California.

We never look at the bas relief sculpture. Everything’s here because something else hurts. The living room smells like burnt cotton candy and our better angels are old Christmas ornaments.

Smol"der, Smoul"der (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Smoldered (?) or Smouldered; p. pr. & vb. n. Smoldering or Smouldering.] [OE. smolderen; cf. Prov. G. smolen, smelen, D. smeulen. Cf. Smell.]


To burn and smoke without flame; to waste away by a slow and supressed combustion.

The smoldering dust did round about him smoke.


To exist in a state of suppressed or smothered activity; to burn inwardly; as, a smoldering feud.


© Webster 1913.

Smol"der, Smoul"der, v. t.

To smother; to suffocate; to choke.


Holinshed. Palsgrave.


© Webster 1913.

Smol"der, Smoul"der, n.

Smoke; smother.


The smolder stops our nose with stench.


© Webster 1913.

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