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by Martin Golan

A rather glorious failure!

"Whatever you do," Lynn says, "don't take too seriously what people say here."

He sees in her body straining in the light the Lenore he created. That "Lenore" was different from her inspiration, who stands before him. There is something significant in this, but he has no time to figure it out. The Aesthete has come up from behind.

"I thought it was pretty good, for this class," he says to Stephen's shoulder.

"Yes," Lynn says. "It was."

A glorious failure, he wants to tell them.

Lynn gives up on her backpack and grabs everything in her arms. The Aesthete hurries off.

"We'll talk more in the Big Caf," Stephen says.

"Yes," Lynn says, the Aesthete's departure forcing her to turn and go, against her will, Stephen knows. "We'll talk more in the Big Caf."




Up close, the real Lynn is different. She is transformed, during conversations in the Big Caf, on the grass of the Quadrangle, and, finally, back at Stephen's apartment. Her resemblance to Lenore grows formidable, and at its peak he believes the Lenore he created is not only real but alone with him in his two-room apartment on his Streets of Flowers.

"The thing is," Lynn says, "I never really had a father."

She is sitting on a spiky wicker chair, his glorious failure of a poem on her lap. She had brought it, unasked. "When I was five he was already dead."

"So you had no model to compare other men against."

"Yes," she says. "I expect men to be perfect, to be supermen. I think it's because there was never a real man in the house." Her look is questioning, even though she has stated the sort of deduction Stephen took pride in using to explain people to themselves. Her eyes are hazel, pellucid. He likes the idea that they are this color.

"I once decided that becoming a writer, an artist of any kind, means you're replacing your father by creating a child," he says. "That's why it's so scary."


Copyright 2007 by Martin Golan

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