Sunday, September 29, 2013
Daily writing prompt from Writers Write (South Africa):
“He would never forget the town called ____________ “
It is not down in any map; true places never are.
He would never forget the town called Madrid. Not the Moorish capital of Spain, with origins of bears and Visigoths, which everybody knows, but the place the New Mexicans pronounce wrong, like mad and rid—both of which were at one time true of it, certainly true of him. That mad place rid of its people, as he was mad and rid of family obligation, societal rot. That ghost town he had come to haunt, moving with mad Anika to the miner’s cabin with the bits of Persian poetry carved into its coal-darkened wooden walls. He had been going to do a mathematics degree instead, at MIT, that coming fall, his place assured, until the last week of his last year as a student at the prep school on the street of the white cross, Madrid and Anika—unholy brachot—happened to him.
She would never forget the town called—well, she never knew, really, hadn’t been paying attention or hadn’t understood what he was telling her—something Italian, some name of a saint or of a wine tasting of old clay tiles, or of a cluster of Medieval towers printed in dark blue ink on the evening sky. She wouldn’t forget the town even the day in a far August when her third granddaughter was born, though she’d spent whole months in the beginning with a road map spread across the card table with folding legs in Clara’s ratty apartment in Frederick, Maryland, looking and looking for its name, its likely position, proof of its existence. Of hers.