Friday, July 4, 2008

Mother and Her Monocle

She stood at her balcony glowering out at the world through her rose hued monocle, her green dress standing out in stark relief against the white walls of her aged, austere home. Her thin lips lisp some tiny imprecation against all that her eyepiece reveals to her of the world.

Each day then, arising at a certain set hour, our heroine wanders out to her balcony to glower upon the world. She watches as the men in suits rush to work, as the children fleeing their mothers make their way to school, as the fools and vagabonds collect on the benches and on the corners, as people, just people, walk about talking or looking or thinking; she watches all this and she glowers, thinking to herself all sorts of nasty, hateful thoughts.

One year not so many years ago her son – a man of slight consequence in the world he inhabits, the world of business, he being a gentle man, a steady man, a dependable man – gave her a gift he felt might deliver her from her glowering, vituperative ways: a rose hued monocle. This singular device, he felt, might help to soften his mother’s rather misanthropic nature. And for a time it did.

For a while she would put the rose hued monocle to her eye and sigh – cathartically, blissfully sigh. The world was good again. This effect, however, quickly faded. After a few weeks of beaming down at the world from her balcony the beam, as is wont to happen, began to devolve slowly back into a glower. Even through the rose tinted hue the world began to reveal its true colors: gray, dun and awful. She began again to curse the world, and to call it all sorts of horrible things. In short, she began to glower down at the thing yet again.

These days, then, she wears her rose hued monocle out of habit. Its effect, long since having ceased to work on her internally, is now wholly external, for the woman looks strange with a red eyepiece that covers only a single eye. And so now, in reaction, perhaps, to the woman’s heaps of scorn, the world laughs when it looks up and sees, in stark relief against the garish white of the house’s walls, a woman in a green dress with a single, rubicund eye.

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