I Choose Flâneuse: A Tale in Four Parts, with each part increasingly shorter


The following day I awoke to a great sense of confusion regarding the events of the night before. I remembered that I had stayed up late in my study reading, and I have certain memories of writing a letter to The Flâneur, a publication I had barely scanned. The more I thought about it, however, maybe I wrote them two letters. Perhaps I began the second one and didn't send it. As I gathered my waking consciousness, I still found myself confused. I had vague memories of a card game and some sort of dancing, but all of this was impossible because it was very quiet during those late hours, and I was quite alone in my study, drinking warm milk.

More alarming was where I woke up. As I opened my eyes I could see a clear sky and some trees, and I could hear the sounds of geese and ducks. I also seemed to be floating, very much the drowned Ophelia of the John Everett Millais painting, but alive. Making my way to shore I looked about me for signs of a familiar location. Spotting Belvedere Castle to the south across the water, I was able to determine that I somehow ended up in Turtle Pond in the middle of Central Park.

Though I wanted to ride the C train back home, I realized I was wet and without money, and so I started walking south toward home. As soon as I started walking I encountered a group of actors standing outside the Delacorte Theater practicing lines from a play. When one actor, a pretty woman, asked, "What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?," I thought the line sounded familiar on a deeply personal basis, but when I realized that it was just the Public Theater performing A Midsummer Night's Dream for Shakespeare in the Park I thought nothing more of it.

I continued my long walk home, still dripping wet in my long flowing gown, grateful only that I had somehow managed to wear my best pink sneakers. Reaching the intersection of the park and 72nd St., I happened to look up at the Dakota. I felt my usual wonder looking at the magnificent building, but additional feelings of guilt and the need to apologize overcame me, and I knew not why. I was the picture of a sad flâneuse as I made my way back to Greenwich Village.

Once home, I entered the parlor where I found my spouse, the colonel, comfortably sprawled out upon the divan reading a book on early cinema. After changing into some dry and warm clothes, I entered my hidden study to check the day's mail, both snail and electronic, and to sort out the confusion of the recent events. Checking the electronic mail, I saw a letter with the return address of The Flâneur, and so I sat down to read the response.

to be continued (and finished)....

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