Monday, October 6, 2008

A letter to a great daughter

Dearest Kathy:

A dead white whale washed out on a Plymouth beach to the surprise of the party goers and the sunbathers. Sausages, raised. Empty bottles of beer all over the sand. Corona. Viva Portugal!
Large crowds came from the nearby restaurants and coffee shops to see if they could take a picture of their grandchildren by the side of the whale to sell the photographs to the TIME magazine hoping it could become the picture of the year. Others came with long knives to see if they could get some of the meat to eat it with humus prepared with a pound of chick peas and two tablespoons of tahini, but there was already a big sign posted by the Health Department and the Bureau for the control of Infectious Diseases forbidding the consumption of whale meat.
Not even the oil could be collected, because it had been bought by a Nantucket whaling company called Flask, Pippin, Starbuck & Co.
Ishmael with his long white hair also came. Actually, he was brought by two of his great great-great-great-great sons who were also patients of a nearby Rhode Island Nursing Home called "The Old Queequegs, Inc.", who were making efforts to show their best cake-walking steps, shaking all over, looking like real swingers of the 1920's. They also had lapel pins with the inscription "Melvillian forever."
Nothing better like the old times, the good old times.
Well, Ishmael looked worse than Ezra Pound (when he was retained in a Washington DC psychiatric hospital, for being a retro-nazi, traitor to the USA and unrepentant anti-semite pig.) If Pound with all his symbolism seemed to be still within his own awareness, Ishmael seemed to be out of his mind already. When someone asked him if he knew captain Ahab, he looked at his interlocutor with fear, then with growing panic and then screamed like there was no other chance to do it better: "Get out, get out, get out! The white whale is over us!". He was so agitated he had to be removed from the place.
In the mean time kids had climbed to the top of the whale and were doing their gymnastics and a group of cheerleaders from a nearby middle school, under the beat of their thunderous school band, were simultaneously roaring for a team of football players who were not there.
Any ways, there was great fun, which is what people look for, and since it was getting dark, everybody said good-bye to the dead whale and left the place.
When people returned the next morning there was no whale to be seen. Only the white foamy waves of the Atlantic and the wet and humid sandy surface of the beach. The wether was becoming Autumnish, a little cool, a little gray...

Manuel Lasso

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