Monday, June 10, 2019

Colloquy on the Paumanok Express

This is material from Sayville Tales. The scene: The ghosts of Mary Todd Lincoln and Walt Whitman are conversing in the dining car of The Brown Fox, while riding the Paumanok Express in the direction of Montauk. Mrs. Lincoln opines on the presidency of Donald Trump thusly:

"Oh, Mr. Whitman, the horrors one suffers at the mere sight of that grotesque, ill-favored hair and the scowling, florid face! And the infantile hands fluttering at its wrists like parakeets while it spits venom! What an unfortunate looking creature it is! Quel comportement malheureux et désagréable!

She shuddered suddenly, causing a few precious drops of vaporous ectoplasm to float away from her vaguely-defined perimeter. After briefly sparkling in the sunlight that streamed from the dining car’s windows, the droplets evaporated.

Après les Lincolns, le déluge,” she sighed whilst watching fractions of herself disappear.

Bowing his head as he spoke, Mr. Whitman said, “I cite a phrase taken from our Chinese brethren—some say it is a curse, others a blessing—which is, ‘May you live in interesting times.’ So it has been for us, Mrs. Lincoln.”

“Mr. Whitman, there is no doubt that we have lived in interesting times. And now, like it or not, we find ourselves dead in interesting times as well.”

— Excerpt from Sayville Tales, ("Teatime for the Disembarked").

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