Friday, April 25, 2008

Tales from a Box of Barnum's Animal Crackers 1

Lorraine claimed she was a griffin, but we had no way of knowing for sure. The Encyclopedia AnimalCrackera doesn't have an entry for griffins. Maybe that page was broken off or eaten. We don't know that for sure either. It's like so much else down here in the box - possibly broken off or eaten, definitely shrouded in a fog of impenetrable mystery, and also wax paper. Down here, it life is a bitter and constant war of attrition. Down here, there are a lot of things we can't tell.

All we had to go on were Lorraine's hindquarters and the sultry, disembodied voice that still haunts the chamber of my memory even now, a long time after I let her go. They say time heals all wounds, but whoever "they" are that said that obviously never felt themselves falling for Lorraine's hindquarters, and they sure as hell never felt the slap and the sting of losing those hindquarters to the Great Hand. Life is pain. Nabisco doesn't answer our letters or return our phone messages. Time doesn't heal a damn thing. And "I'm over her" is just another lie you tell yourself so you can make it through one more night in the deep, crinkly darkness.

Griffin or not, my Lorraine was all lion. Or rather, the roughly half of her that was intact was all lion, which left the rest of her open to speculation. I don't know, though. Lorraine said the front half of a griffin was an eagle, which sounded preposterous, but I defy you to name one thing about our entire existence that isn't preposterous. Maybe Lorraine was just speculating about what she was, or what she felt she could be. Or perhaps Lorraine had checked wikipedia for answers. A giraffe whose name I never caught said we should check wikipedia for answers, but that giraffe is gone now too. Maybe wikipedia was someone wiser than we, someone who went before us. Maybe Wikipedia is where the Great Hand takes us.

All I know is that I loved Lorraine, lion or griffin, half or whole. I loved her like I've loved no other. I've tried to connect with elephants and cougars, I've spent time rolling around with bison and zebras, but I always come back to Lorraine - nothing compares 2 Lorraine.

It's dark now, and I'm awake waiting for daybreak, for the Great Hand to come swooping in and finally take me too. I'm praying, as I have so many times, for death to come collect me from above. I long for the sweet embrace of those moist, pudgy fingers, and for the great wikipedia in the sky where I might have a chance to see my love's divine leonine hindquarters, hear her sweet and dulcet voice again, and check for answers of my own. I wish Lorraine and I had had more time together down here, that we hadn't spent precious minutes taking each other for granted. I wish I had noticed her when we first came out of the ovens at the Nabisco Bakery in Fair Lawn, New Jersey where we were "born," for lack of a better term. But I know that ship has sailed, even though I have no idea what a ship is, or what it means to sail.

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