Monday, April 23, 2012


Lets not quibble - that's what the master said to me. He never addressed me as a child, but as an adult. We were wandering through a great house built during the last century. Antwerp was rich then and flush with Hapsburg silver fresh from the mines of Mexico..... I saw the grandchildren of Monctezuma once. I know that is not part of this tale, but I did. They were traveling through the Spanish Empire, the European portion, I mean, and we encountered them at a grand reception given by a rich, Flemish merchant. Oh, I suppose he had some sort of lesser patent of nobility. Such things were easy to acquire back then. The age of baronets, you know. And the Low Countries were no different.  But I was dressed just like a Castilian infanta. Look to the Spanish Masters. Those big skirts. You know. The vampires had made some rich kills, so we styled ourselves  as foreign aristocrats. Polish aristocrats, I believe we were. Not that we knew the language. French was good enough. All the best people spoke it. One of our number did have some knowledge of Krakow ( quite a beautiful, old, university city. you should see it sometime.) and that was more than adequate. 

The woman, one of the Aztec royals, I mean, sat sipping a frothy, chocolate concoction from a fine porcelain demitasse. She regaled her circle with tales of the lost family palace ( a place she had never seen). Each side measured more than six hundred feet. A stone lined canal brought lacquered gondolas right into the throne room, where her esteemed grandfather, last of The Great Speakers (their term for emperor) held court. How do I remember this? Well, I've heard many stories... lovely stories, Still hers were among the best. Lost worlds entrique me. Perhaps because I've seen so many come and go? I was still mortal then. She thought I was beautiful. See this fine, golden serpent I wear around my wrist? She gave it to me. Slipped it right off and gave it to me. It's a miracle I still have it....considering.

But what was I talking about, before I digressed? Don't you think some of the best anecdotes spill forth during digressions? I do........ A woman seated south of the grand piano (and discreetly sucking on an orange Jolly Rancher) raised her hand and said - 

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