The Seekers of Lice
By Arthur Rimbaud
Translated by Jeremy Harding
When the boy's head, full of raw torment,
Longs for hazy dreams to swarm in white,
Two charming older sisters come to his bed
With slender fingers and silvery nails.
They sit him at a casement window, thrown
Open on a mass of flowers basking in blue air,
And run the fine, intimidating witchcraft
Of their fingers through his dew-dank hair.
He listens to their diffident, sing-song breath,
Smelling of elongated honey off the rose,
Broken now and then by a hiss: saliva sucked
Back from the lip, or a longing to be kissed.
He hears their dark eyelashes start in the sweet-
Smelling silence and, through his grey listlessness,
The crackle of small lice dying, beneath
The imperious nails of their soft, electric fingers.
The wine of Torpor wells up in him then
— Near on trance, a harmonica-sigh —
And in their slow caress he feels
The endless ebb and flow of a desire to cry.
Most of Wednesday was spent on family and Star Trek -- I didn't end up writing the Doohan obituary but I got e-mail from a great many people who I almost never hear from, nostalgic when they heard about his death, and my relatives all asked me whether I was upset as if I'd known him personally. I'm sad that he is gone, but truly with Alzheimer's I think it is much better to go quickly and early, with faculties relatively intact -- my husband's other grandmother, the one who did not turn 90 last month, died of Alzheimer's not knowing where she lived and furious with her relatives for no reason, pacing and trying to break down her front door. I would rather die quickly than degenerate like that.
I saw all the relatives at a party at my mother's for all the family birthdays in the past couple of months -- my son's 9th, my uncle's 60th, my great-uncle's 88th, etc. Both of my second cousins came without their families, who were variously working, recovering from trips and babysitting...this is the first time I have seen either of them without a child around in ages, since my sons were at the time off with my uncle's 10-year-old, and we talked more than we have in ages, which was lovely. One of them (my father's 55-year-old first cousin, who has two teenage daughters) is a die-hard Harry Potter and LOTR fan so we snuck off to compare notes on the book which we are the only family members who have finished.
Otherwise, I took my sons out for lunch for the younger one's birthday -- he picked Burger King as his restaurant of choice *g* so that is where we went, along with gblvr to whom I owe her own birthday lunch someplace more exciting, but she works nearby so I told her to come meet us and we compared surreptitious notes on HBP. Then we came home so the kids could play their new Mario GameCube game, and I wrote a couple of articles -- I wish Threshold did not sound so good, because I have so little faith in a Brannon Braga series with a female lead, but I am sure I am going to end up watching it. (Oh, and the ComicCon coverage revealed not only that Jeri Ryan is going to The O.C. -- which is fine because I like Jeri, just not Seven of Nine -- but that Charisma Carpenter will be on Veronica Mars next season! Woe! I almost stopped watching Buffy because of her and I never watched Angel specifically because she was on it, and now she will be on one of the very few shows I do watch!)
Yeah, I'm not talking about John Roberts. I'm feeling very depressed and disempowered listening to Democrats going on about how it's not that bad and it could have been so much worse. If this is "not that bad," our rights are just GONE. Vancouver is looking better and better: I see that gay marriage is now legal all over Canada.
My younger son wearing the Darth Vader voice synthesizer he got as an early birthday present after his party last month, along with the cape my mother-in-law made him and the lightsaber from the grandparents.
Thursday some of us are going downtown (which to be determined depending on space in the vehicle) and in the afternoon and evening my uncle's son is staying over here so he and his wife and my parents can all go out somewhere grownup. May be a very hectic day...