Warm Sunlight Breaks Through Into Life.
Music tracks: First track is by – Valentin; Port Of Call [Z8phyR Remix]
Second Track: Miroslav Vrlik – Walk With Me.
There had been nothing much of any personal nature inside the penthouse with the glorious view, and so nothing much to move across to the next large apartment on the top floor. There was an ‘in-between,’ shared (empty) guest unit, so the two large apartments were not really exactly ‘adjoining,’ if you wanted to be pedantic about it.
Every day Sara took Liz McNeil out with her and they walked the vast National Flora and Fauna Wildlife Reserve (3000 species of native flora) and National Parkland Gardens that encompassed the whole mount area of 400 hectares overlooking the city.
Sara spoke largely about what was right there in front of them, the flowers, the grass, the birds, the trees, the sky, the rocks.
There were old people walking along the park nature trails, a few people jogging, even a few in small handfuls at any hour doing pretty serious, rather advanced work-outs in the open grass areas.
One evening Sara drew Liz to where there was an Eternal Flame, and a big concrete monument to soldiers fallen in war.
And she said: “In modern popular culture, even in some films and books that people think are about sex and love and romance – they are really about human beings negotiating away permanently, what they once freely owned naturally, in exchange for life and for a living. These works of art are all about the thin line between the obvious prostitution of a life, and the subtle, in-obvious one, and that there is in fact no third way; no ‘way out’ at all, so to speak. They express an ultimate hopelessness, and only the existence of temporary gratification. No matter how slick and glamorous that sex and romance is made to appear, it has only a temporary material reality in these narratives. And they make out this as the ‘poignance’ of life.
“But what do you think? Do you think, there is a way out?”
“I know there is another way. But I don’t how to actually get there. I don’t even know how I got to here, to where I am now. ...Why is normal life so hard?”
“Why is normal life so hard...” Sara echoed. “Well, I am going to show you the secret to it, and then, you will convey that to the person who will be arriving here soon.”
She removed the scarf from around her neck and smoothed it out between her two hands.
“Let me blindfold you.”
Liz stopped with a start.
“See?” Sara smiled back. “The correct thing to say is ‘please let me blindfold you so that you can learn to trust me as I lead you by my own hand. And because I am the one who knows the way, and you have already admitted, that you do not.’ Not just - let me blindfold you!”
She held the scarf out before her, held out towards Liz McNeil.
“Please. Blindfold me. Blindfold me at once.”
So she did. And carefully, she placed the silk cloth around Liz’s eyes first, then drew it around her now frizzed-up, out-in-the-open, hair, and tightened it around her head, and tied it at the back.
“For film people, you could say to them that Vadim was their Svengali who caught them and trapped their wandering minds, and then Phillips and Spielberg got them to see the light, and Kubrick took them to the Promised Land. They will understand it if you speak it to them like this.”
And her right hand slipped down to hold onto Liz’s left hand, and clasped it tightly.
“But then, the mind needs to cross the River Jordan all on its own. Unless I am there with it, it will be on its complete own. And be tossed about, and thrown around, and either dragged under, or driven into the rapids and then plunged over the waterfall’s edge.”
An evening pipistrelle scanned them with its sonar.
“So. Walk with me.”
Elizabeth McNeil could feel the air around here as it became cooler nearby some large trees, or some big bushes, and then warmer again as they approached the main road and the footpaths. She could smell the Eucalypts and the firebush flowers and the pale yellow flowered Melaleucas – distinguish those from the pink ones, and the red ones, and the ‘snowdrops’ microflora on the ground. She didn’t know what they were but she could sense the differences in them, and Sara said out aloud what they were as they walked by them.
“These ones have been here since the Jurassic epoch. The scent of the male resin is different to the female plant’s exudate.”
Liz realised that her sense of smell had become vastly more accentuated and acute by some ‘trick’ that Sara was working, compared to what it was normally, to what it had been.
“The flowers of these species here, these microflora ones, are red because of trace gold in the soil. ...These big trees here, well, their leaves are literally full of microscopic amounts of gold – but don’t tell anyone because they would all come here and try to collect the leaves!” She laughed. “It’s really only very tiny amounts of gold of course, and all spread out, but it is still gold that is in there. If you go gold prospecting, you could tell where there was a lot of gold in the ground, because those particular red flowers would be there in abundance in Spring and the leaves of the tall trees would be drooping much lower than where there is not much trace gold in the ground.”
An elderly couple were walking towards them, and began tittering. “They’re playing children’s games.” One commented out aloud. “Good evening!”
“Good evening!” Sara hailed back to them, laughing too, as the two older people walked around them making way for the odd pair of women.
When the sound of the two old people had receded to somewhere behind them, Sara spoke again.
“This is a rhetorical question now, Elizabeth, so you don’t need to answer it. Here is the question:
“Do you like men, Liz? Do you know if you like men...?”
Liz McNeil’s quick first thought was: ‘no, I hate all men.’
She felt Sara squeeze her hand briefly. “Don’t answer the question, Elizabeth. Because there is a supplementary question that has to come before you will be able to even approach an answer to the first question.”
Liz McNeil began to roll the basic question around in her mind, and she knew of course that her feelings were being filtered in her mind through her own past experiences with men, her relationships with men; also the fact that she had never known her own father.
“Who was my father, Sara?” She blurted.
“What did I say to you?!”
“Well you never said I couldn’t ask anything back.” She complained.
“Okay. Your father is a nice man and a good man. One day you will meet him.”
She stopped walking, and put her hand out to stop Liz from proceeding as well.
“Now I could tell you about the Shoes That Were Danced To Pieces... Do you know that story?”
Liz shook her still blind-folded head.
“Well that’s that Grimm’s account of the twelve princesses who all slept in the same bedroom in twelve beds. You know, that one –, where they steal away late at night and go through three groves of trees, one silver, one gold, and then one grove of trees bearing diamond fruit. And then they are rowed across a lake to a castle out in the middle there, where they dance the whole night long... Wearing out their dancing shoes eventually, as you would do too, if you too did that endlessly every night. Going out somewhere and dancing all night till sunrise.
“But I’m not going to tell you about that ‘crossing over the water.’ I am going to tell you about crossing over the River Jordan. All by yourself.
“So... Do you know if you like men, Elizabeth. If you believe, in romance – you know, with a man?
“Because that crossing, you can only do by yourself. Is that not so? Well I mean unless you want me in the bedroom there with you!”
Sara took the blindfold off Liz McNeil’s eyes. “Well. We’re here.”
And there they were too, right in front of the place in Bellevue Terrace.
Presently, one morning, small trucks came to the front of the building, and Trice was there waiting for them, and men in overalls brought in a number of large trunks and cases, with Trice letting them in, and then up to the top floor and into the front penthouse apartment.
And by and by, several cars also arrived at the front of the place – with Trice again waiting for these - and four people got out and went up to the penthouse with Trice leading the way.
...One still camera guy, one lighting guy, the actress’s personal stylist, and someone with a clipboard.
And then, about half an hour later, a small private vehicle turned up, and ‘*,’ and her bodyguard wearing a pretty decent upscale suit, got out and went into the building, riding the lift to the top floor.