Is there an artifact that spans the Atlantic, a genetic offspring of sorts?
Well, of course there is silly, you’re talking to him right now, that offspring of sorts.
What was your source?
She was the source, of course.
She, meaning, who?
By she I mean the girl who learned to scrub in protest before the invention of the Magic Eraser and the Swiffer. The sketches she left me have been Xeroxed into my memory with much precision, in color I swear. She once said to me: The power of fishing boats is remarkable in winter, but not as remarkable as a one-night stand on the stage of war.
Is it safe to say she was not opposed to sex in the 1940s?
It is, but that’s not the point.
Then who is she?
She is the progenitor of all this, the algebraic equation that equals the sum of my bones.
And the sum equals?
The scattered bones of my ancestors.
How were her bones scattered about?
The wind! The wind!
A Nordic wind?
No, but a cold tempest that equaled six million breaths. Her bones passed through the streets in silence as howling women howled at the ‘police’ who cracked the bones of the demonstrators in many parts of Copenhagen. With pitch-forked cries of ‘Down with the traitors’ and ‘God save the kind kind king’, the demonstrators were promptly kaput by the hairy men in charge.
She said she swept the bloody streets and hummed la la la and ba ba do. She unplanned her escape with the little boy who she planned to have nestled in her tummy. She understood the rush of sex in dark alleys for the first time.
Was she a prostitute?
Of another kind.
I’m not sure I understand where you are headed with this.
Art takes time, my kind friend. Nuts and wisdom.
So then what? This is art?
No. But tanks.
The what? The tanks?
In unison, scores of protesters were run down. Winnie the Poohed.
No notes on this, but across the road she escaped into an antique bookshop with a small boy by her side, who was dragging a stuffed bear. The same boy she finally had, and who she would later refer to as ‘ancient history’.
He was her entire language of sorts, a kind of fleshy gobbledygook of tiny enormity.
Did he like to read?
The kind boy always found solace in books—preferably Nordic tales of conquest and lust. He, with her by his side, begged her for an army of winged horses to fly them out of the ionosphere, the anti-Icarus of sorts. He was ignorant of maps and the danger of cumulous nimbuses.
In her limited wisdom, she smacked him.
That doesn’t make sense. Are you an idiot?
Logic is a form of treason, my furry friend.
And what of treason?
No comment beyond that it’s a form of ransom to logic.
And what of their fate, of the boy and his mother, and their fairy tales?
In her gorgeous spring dress she made a Pact of Resistance with the kind boy: a simple crossing of the fingers behind their backs and a wink-wink of the left eye. And it was done. Voila. He would spend time underground and she began to dig and dig and dig until she struck oil.
What is the point you want to make?
I do not know.
It is hard for me to believe you, especially since you are not of Nordic descent, nor do I get the sense you’re telling the truth, or care to have your facts verified. It’s in my gut, this feeling I have for you.
Here’s a bit of evidence:
I can’t believe this is you.
It is not. It’s them, small feet.
Like a footprint.
A logogriph of sorts.
But what if the war did not end?
Then I would not exist. She would’ve worn red socks for Christmas and offered striking workers a shot of whisky and the possibility of extramarital sex.
And the boy, what happened to him?
She tossed his bones to the wind and then some. He had no choice and no concept of flight.
Why did she do this?
So that he would be saved.
Not all fishing boats reached their final destination. Some boats ended up in the sea. Other boats were set fire to the wind. The underground had prepared eleven fishing boats and she was number nine. She almost made it to Sweden.
I am on my knees in my TV room resetting the cable connection, and this act reminds me of the image of her on her knees scrubbing the fishing boat just before she was sent to the camp, the one where they ended her chances for another kind of offspring.
We ended up here in Jersey City, our bones separated by the invisible space between us, the antechamber where all had been done. She revealed the secret history of the underground boy and the woman who gave him up.
Do you often find yourself walking into lampposts or having sex with strangers?
Yes, something like that.
But seriously, concerning my question, do you believe her story about the boy whose bones were chucked to the wind?
In retrospect, I believe in magic and the power of persuasion, the flight of concords too.
But in the end?
No one was there to catch him when she left.