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The Tragedy of Maria

by Parmenides Monday, Oct. 06, 2003 at 7:53 AM

Tongue-in-cheek, of course...

This was the worst week in her life! Maria raced from the entertainment room with $10,000 flat wall mounted television screen flashing images of yesterdays rally to her walk-in closet and nestled herself in between her $5000 imported silk kimono, sea green with the wide sash, and her custom designed Versacci pantsuits and the fifty fantastic gowns. It was only in here where she could let go and break down. She had to think. She had to help. It was her job as a wife. She grabbed a few pairs of the Sermoneta gloves she loved so much. The gloves which Arnold would buy for her every time he went to Europe. It was a small gesture, but one that Maria come to expect, to look forward to, with Arnold's returns to California. But politics had stopped Arnold's frequent flying, and now he was under attack from all those people. They were just jealous. They didn't know Arnold the way she did. She slunk back into the custom designed teak and mahogany inlaid shoe rack, and felt the heaviness of the world pressing the imported fabrics and ultra-designed patterns enfold her.

When she opened her eyes she was on a black volcanic beach North of Fort Bragg. The massive energy of the sea pushed into the shore, smashing the flotsam against the unforgiving coast. A warm fog hung low in the trees and out the mist came a white horse on top of which sat a blonde woman, clothed in riding clothes, her long impossibly perfect hair bouncing up and down with the galloping white horse. The fog followed and swirled around the horses steps as a cold ocean wind picked up strength and raced into the shore, just like Uncle Teddy racing for the Scotch at the last family BBQ. Wait a minute, that horse was familiar...why it was Pokey! From the Andover riding schools of her childhood! And on the horse was none other than Melody Bever, of the Cambridge Bevers, her own friend and later arch-nemesis from prep school! But Pokey had died in that terrible accident...it all seemed so long ago, so distant, and here it was...was she dreaming, how could this be?.

Maria felt a rage raising in her stomach. It was Melody who was once her best friend but that turned at fifteen into a rival! It was Melody who had convinced her father, Mathias Bever, to purchase Pokey at a price her own father, Sargent , a mere civil servant and governor, could not hope to match and so bested over her that which Maria most desired! It was the last year of prep school, when most of the other girls were planning their graduation trips to Monaco, Tokyo, or Rio, that Maria had finally confronted Melody, bursting out at the full dress rehearsal amidst chiffon gowns and Prado dress accoutrements that Melody had taken Pokey away. Melody just laughed with her Cambridgian sophisticated sneer and said she was taken Pokey for a ride that very day. And then the terrible accident, the rainslicked oak leaves brown from last winter still on the unkempt pathways. The fall and Pokey's injury, incurable. That glorious horse, that magnificent body, that supple fur and that regal bearing had to be put down, and hauled off to the glue factory amidst the slums of Dorchester, a place where only the dead or disfigured would go. After that Maria had refused to talk with Melody, and they had not seen each other since.

But out of her reverie she heard Melody calling, "Maria...Maria...Maria.." And she looked up to her childhood friend and nemesis, and Pokey the horse, again riding slowly to her. Suddenly a dim rumbling came from the east, and out of the trees emerged a figure she also knew well....her Arnold!! looking as if twenty years had been dropped off him and he had been airbrushed. His bronze helmet and sword shone in the bright sunlight even though the beach was enveloped in fog. How was that possible? But the set design could not be questioned, for all of a sudden Arnold let out a war cry, his war cry, their war cry , and raced towards Melody and Pokey. "Why you stupid beetchhh, you have roooined the seeeeaann."

Melody dropped from the horse and stood radiant in the marine layer and said nothing. Arnold approached and smiled suddenly, throwing down his bronze and pulling apart her black blazer and white riding shirt. "But the sight of these will keep you on the studio payroll!" he said laughing manically. He started groping and pulling, manipulating the flesh like an animal on steroids.

Melody looked over to the shadow figure witnessing the drug-induced excesses of her husband, "Maria....help me...help us all."

All of a sudden, Maria was back in the walk-in, clutching the midriff of her ruby red Dior gown with an vengeance. She was so angry...the dress had torn a bit and was practically ruined, she would have to donate it to charity! And she loved that gown so much.

She knew what she had to do. She left the walk-in closet, her sanctum in times of despair and went to the kitchen. The cook woke from his slumbers and asked if she wanted some sushi for lunch. She scowled at him and he retreated into the 500 square foot meat storage locker abutting the kitchen. She walked calmly over to the walnut and maple food preparation table and picked up the knife. At that moment, she knew where her husband was sleeping...
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