Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Ironist

In 500 words, create an observer of events outside her own direct experience, someone who knows more than she lets on, jokes with us (the readers) but who also indirectly reveals a complex reading of the events she is describing. M. H. Abrams, in A Glossary of Literary Terms, says " Greek comedy the character called the eiron was a dissembler, who characteristically spoke in understatement and deliberately pretended to be less intelligent than he was." The dissembler or ironist or trickster is a wiseass, a clown perhaps, a teller of tall tales.
(from prompt #10 in The 3 AM Epiphany)

Read my response:

Lucy wears thick lip gloss and designer heels. Ted wears a smirk and Italian loafers. Lucy twirls a pretty curl and stares at her reflection, and Ted rests his hand in his pocket and watches Lucy. Her mother designs clothes, and the daughter, dressed in wealth and raised accordingly, to be seen as desirable, grew up spoiled. His father purchases and develops buildings, and the son, raised in wealth and dressed accordingly, in anything seen as desirable, grew up spoiled. Spoiled means ruined, and it happens to children like it happens to food: when left out too long, unattended. What happens is that no one wants something spoiled, and they are thrown out as rubbish. The difference between children and food, of course, is that children have thoughts and feelings. Both food and children can be equally unaware of their own spoiled state. And everyone everywhere grows up thinking the way they are is the way everyone is, until suddenly something changes, and it becomes clear that no one is normal.

Lucy looks like a prize, and she even comes with a ribbon. She has wide eyes to look for approval and they are framed by demurely flattering eyelashes; as they say, art isn’t art without the right frame to hang it. She is either very beautiful or very ordinary and it depends entirely on who she is standing near, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so her beauty is in the eye of whoever beholds her. Ted yearns to hold her. He looks for prizes, he understands that a prize is whatever you find and assign a value. Like empty lots and vacant buildings, Ted sees beauty in nothingness, in the lack of the concrete.

The relationship between the two begins in hatred, like so many love stories, and it is only when they realize the other has what they do not that they see how much they have in common. They are a pair of bulls-eyes, they are the center of what everyone tries to hit; the children of power and wealth, the products of vanity and acquisition, no one can see what good could come of them. It is odd to think that such famous parents have such infamous offspring. For those who have watched them grow up it is hard to imagine much more wasted breath than this pair of idiots, and everyone has watched them grow up, we see them on television and we read about them online. You can’t help but feel bad for two little lovers, two spoiled children, who have so many people watching them and judging them, cynically, from a safe distance. What a lovely couple they make, at any rate, as she stares at her boyfriend, staring at her, in the reflection of the mirror in her mother’s Victorian vanity.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin