Tag Archives: fiction

Continued Exploits and Dispatches from one Thor Aronson

 ++ Continued Exploits and Dispatches from one Thor Aronson ++

Over a week now in Istanbul, just waiting for evidence his quarry was here, or had stopped through at least. But, not a lead until a well-bribed cleaner a 4 floor walk up hotel sent word (through contacts at the Bosphorous port) of a passport matching his vague description. “A Canadian?” thought Thor, “they’re not even their own damn country! Just another dominion of the damn British!”

A closer look revealed his Greek heritage which indicated he had at least one passport to travel under. The stamp s showed a circuratous route through various Mediterranean, Levant and Baltic enclaves. Yet “Gus” is no TE Lawrence or even Wilfred Thesinger, no way he could be rambling through these remote places without assistance from a fluent Arabic speaker, various fixers and sea captains. But still, Thor was at least a step behind… if not more.
With the myriad ships going in and out of the gateway to Europe and Asia, he could be just about anywhere, but most definitely he was at sea as the rail lines were still rebuilding from frequent bombings, likely effectuated by those nefarious Brits.
No matter, after contacting an inside source at the Canadian Consulate (of course sequestered down a hallway at the UK embassy) Thor new, the passport was a fake and even the name might not be accurate, but… The face was definitely the mug he was after.
Thor sat down stone steps between the grand souk and the blue mosque, lit a cigar and waited for another smoke signal. If he was careless to leave the passport behind in the hotel safe, no doubt something else would emerge. The bribes were paid, the photo circulated and soon Gus would tip another card. Inhaling deeply, Thor mattered, “fucking Canadians, when will they get it together and become their own country?”

Continuing Rambles of one Mr. Thor Aronson

++ Continuing Rambles of one Mr. Thor Aronson ++
His quest for the elusive quarry stalled again, Thor – rather exhausted after six days on a merchant marine ship despite a rather pleasant stateroom – sits on a coil of worn rope on a salty dock to consider his next move. The question: where has the renegade Mr. Lester disappeared to to this time? Lighting at the second last cigar from a box acquired in Sicily, he considers possible directions… Set out towards the Tyrhenian, dropping in on various islands seeking telltale sign? He does have ties to Corsica after all so the direction would be generally useful. Or maybe the Aegean?

“Too many damn islands…” He mutters to the Katakolon seabirds. The leather attache (containing the critical documents seeking validation) still close by his worn boots, he pulls the wool fisherman’s cap down his brow, closer to the wrinkled blue/white striped coarse linen shirt, inhales deeply and concludes to head towards the Bosphorous. At least he’ll have a hot Turkish bath and beat down massage on ancient marble before deciding which continent to drift towards next. But first, a tall ouzo and plate of olives to set him on the way.

Dossier: Thor Aronson

++ Dossier: Thor Aaronson ++
Consigliere of variable repute, carries diplomatic passport from a failed Balkan republic, suits look Saville Row but actually Chiang Mai, speaks colloquial Greek & classical Aramaic from time in an Albanian prison for currency forgery, published thesis on Egyptian shadow puppetry amongst working class Cairo, scars and tic on left eye after crashing stolen tuktuk in Penang, 3 months hospital, left with bill unpaid taking a full grain of morphine and fled to Phitsanulok, dried out in Chennai under assumed name of Rex Hayduke, marine biologist specializing in marlin and other large, mercury-laden game fish — Ejoys Rimbaud poetry, Duras novels, and Chet Baker, The Jam, Portuguese fado & Japanese enka music. Prefers fountain pens, white handkerchieves, full windsor knots, hot toddys with branch water and fresh notebooks which he fills, photographs & burns. Whereabouts unknown, alert Interpol if spotted saying: “mahimahi is ready for grilling” they’ll understand, oh yes they will. Delay escape by plying with mint shisha and backgammon (no wagering) .

Destined Like A Great Idea

I knew I was completely in love with her the night she made the bean soup. Fourteen kinds of beans in a crock-pot like a suburban housewife would have done. She blushed like she meant it and I told her I loved her, and it still sounded inadequate, as sincere as a postcard. I felt stupid afterwards like she always made me feel, not stupid like regrettable but more adolescent like I should be awkward and nervous and gangly.

But I’m not sure I was because she seemed to think was witty and occasionally brilliant and she kissed me. She kissed me often and she was gentle and fluid and involved and right. Not like she had had a lot of practice (nor did I ask, undignified I thought) but she kissed with the reckless precision that would humble you if you let it. Like someone carefully destroying you in a friendly game of pool without you noticing, like it would be a waste of their time if they weren’t fully involved.

This is good, I said and sometimes I thought she thought at least the same about me, she was more vocal and always aroused.

I liked this, all of it. Especially when we were in the desert in the spring or when she would tell me stories about Spain or when she would see me on the street and follow me for blocks before she would yell to me or when she told me about her sister and herself and how would gently touch the brashest of my artifacts or when she would eat with her fingers out of the jar and how she would lie on the bed and watch everything I did. Watch me fold my socks and brush my teeth and when I twirled a pencil like a drumstick when I would write a letter. She looked and watched and stared with the eyes of a statue or a madman staring at the sun knowing that he couldn’t really go blind. Unnerving at first then only lovely and the thing that has made me cry the most in my life. Cry big, sloppy silver tears.

I would have watched her too but my clumsiness and uneasy eye could never have done the same for her. I could never do anything that flowing and pure. Instead I wrote her poems, poems borrowed for here and there at first and later more self-conscious and bewildered and I would present them to her like a genius waiting for a world in return. She never said a thing, just one pressing, random kiss. I think she put them carefully in a box, probably with a ribbon on it, but I never did see one and I never did ask. I stopped looking the day she told me she thought I was destined for greatness. An astrologer told me the same thing since my birthday fell on the day four planets lined up and the end of the world was supposed to come or at least Niagara Falls was going to start going backwards or upside-down. I took this and used it for an alibi and told anyone who’d believe it.

I was a great hockey player until I was fourteen and gave up trying to skate backwards and I was a great liar and storyteller and kids loved me sometimes and I read a Kafka book and James Joyce’s Ulysses to the end which is almost a great thing to do. I had been to some great places and met some people who were pretty and great and now I’m only great at cooking Ukrainian food, filling out forms, juggling any three objects and changing the oil on my car. I remain a good liar when necessity dictates and I do eat healthy and I do plan on being a great uncle if any of my brothers could convince a woman to conceive.

Aside from the justifications, I waited for the destined part she meant and watched the seconds and weeks tick by in the corner of her patient eye. I would touch her eyelid; she would close her eyes, smile and blow the bangs from her face — it was then that I would remember to thank all the prophets and gods I could think of.

She listened to me carefully when I was spoke on the phone with someone, and always knew where I was. The canvasses, she painted me on were always five foot, always body length portraits and hazy backgrounds. I was usually dark purples, gray or brown and always in broad, abrupt brushstrokes. Sometimes with a beard and my hair down and tangled. The eyes were always looking straight on. They almost followed me around the room. She was deliberate and calculating in her work. I wasn’t that thin in real life either. My skin wasn’t stretched over high cheekbones and I wasn’t pasty and gaunt and emaciated like that. She smiled when I sat still so she could set the lights right.

Sometimes on the nights when we sat on her brass bed and listened to scratchy Patsy Cline or Robert Johnson records, she would tell her dreams and nightmares about me finally finding peace of mind or something as blissfully confusing and intangible and she meant it. I said sometimes I felt that I would find all the comforts and joys if things were more predictable and I knew one morning I would wake up and my hair would be silvery white or that I would be getting something great in the mail every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the rest of my life or that she would have the same glorious, vivid expression on her face every morning or that I knew the sun wouldn’t go down some days and I could go mow the lawn at three in the morning like they do in Alaska.

Only then could I worry contently about important things. About walking around like a chosen one, being as brilliant as a great idea or as enlightening as a car burning on the side of the road. I would go kissing all the babies and telling jokes and stories before I had to shatter and fall and get around to dying.

And my love would be there, sitting in the other corner of the room on the footstool, hands between her knees, looking. Looking and watching. Deliberate and aware, looking exactly like she was exactly now, her eyes filled with metaphors, something about infatuation and control, the spirit glinting and winking in the corner.

And me, sitting across from her, not being able to talk or say anything, and I couldn’t even look back at her, because I just couldn’t, or shouldn’t, or I didn’t know how to look at her when she was right in front of me, waiting.

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Written 1990 in SLC, UT