Edgar Guest

Lucinda was the mother tongue. Lucinda’s tongue was a mother. Lucinda was from a little shit town in Texas, where every man wanted to see her peel off her tube top at the gas station on Blowing Rock Street when she was fourteen years old. Lucinda’s mother was the type one had to be careful to distinguish from the rest of the mothers, just as her daughter had to be carefully distinguished from the rest of the daughters. Oh the tongue of Lucinda, an ungraphed variable, a serious pedagogical complication, a worker that could always find some use. She used it amply upon him, Edgar Guest, at fragile moments, between, through, nearly within his anatomy, as though his name were no longer Edgar Guest but something much greater than the sum of his Edgarly parts, and as he came, as one does with a Lucinda upon one’s aging body, a number of dead languages were revived, including Etruscan, Gaulish, Iberian, Cornish and Manx. A little error, he spoke Cornish as a second language, of course, having learned it from the books. Still, the language had been rather honestly dead and was graphically revived through the body of work of the great Lucinda. He would teach his children Cornish, as a first language, and raise them in New York City. The thought of it, having a son and a daughter, little ones with Lucinda, was really quite strange, and the four of them as native speakers of an even more obscurely dead language than Cornish to be revived through the usual method (a family of linguistic missionaries!) gave him a thumping cancerous sensation in the spleen. Spleens were not discussed at the family table, regarded effectively as taboo, working-class mythology. The deictic position of the spoons expressed the love that was in abundance among them. They were a family that sat at varying distances from the speaker, Edgar Guest, for there was much rejoicing before and after the moment of speech, albeit not deictic in nature. The vague and supple body of Lucinda! Unintended for the honest man and the ultimate reader, Edgar Guest: he was waiting for a different opacity, written into pages pure, white, less dominated by patterned and deeply felt compulsions. Lucinda’s finality was, finally, too much to bear. Confronted at last with an extradimensional being, there was nothing to do but lose his erection. How literal it all was. The set of eyes fixated upon the nape of Edgar Guest on a bus that had seemingly taken off into the blue, without a hint of the poetic, meant little compared to the devastation lurking within his trousers. The greater part of him, as his mother had always whispered to him as the gentlest of warnings, was in a better place. But not in Lucinda.