I first saw saw the Scroll not long after it arrived in Paris. I had just organized a group outing with other poor Parisian poets to see the world premier of Walter Salles’ latest film, On the Road, and a visit to the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts was included in the price of the tickets as part of the massive advertising campaign for the film’s release. Having thought I would’ve never gotten the chance to see the actual Scroll (privately owned, it is only displayed in a handful of shows scattered across the globe at irregular intervals), I headed straight to the nearest métro with my free ticket in hand and rushed towards the Left Bank.
Situated on the once literary Boulevard Saint-Germain, just blocks from the once Beat Hotel, this obscure little museum has probably never seen so much fanfare in it’s life: relocated to this prestigious space only two years ago, the permanent collection does include important handwritten documents ranging from Eisenhower’s cease-fire order to Mozart’s original scores to ancient scrawls of king Henry IV. But none of these usual residents can compare to the wave of interest generated by the museum’s new temporary guest. The Scroll has been brought to France for the first time to promote the film’s opening at the Cannes Film Festival and the entire first floor of the museum has been dedicated to this event. » Read more «
The backdoor screen slammed shut as Shelly descended the stairs. She was quietly crying. Icy snow and slush slowed her way through the yard and the weight of winter emptied the afternoon of its sounds into a whispering December hush. She got to the gate and the cold metal handle stubbornly budged under her gloves but finally clacked open. She pushed and it scraped against the ground giving just enough space for her to squeeze out to the alley behind. It was deserted outside : Christmas Eve and the world was abandoned for the interior glow of television holdiay specials. » Read more «
– Cincos dólares por noche. Por adelantado.
Jack fumbled with the wad of bills stuffed in his wallet. Just under twenty dollars plus a few Costa Rican colóns that would do him no good here. The bus from the border cost more than he had thought. Panama was expensive.
– Bueno. Dos noches por favor. He put his last crumpled ten on the counter and pushed it under the black grate. Better save something to eat with later.
– Última puerta a la derecha. The mustached man took a key from the wall and slid it to him. He pointed to the end of the hall and went back to gnawing on his spent cigar. » Read more «
the last passengers boarded the bus and the engine started low. she looked up at the window empty leaning against the cement pillar of the greyhound station with her arms crossed. the late afternoon sun warmed the air but she could hear the first whispers of autumn in the salt breeze. he was already aboard, waiting in the aisle for the others to take their places. when he arrived to his row he put his military green totepack in the little space remaining overhead and sat down by the window near the front of the bus. from inside she appeared small and delicate against the cracked square block rising beside her. her pale dollskin and long brown horsehair blurred through the thick glass. she was doing her best to smile.
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