“Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.”–Truman Capote
That sums it up. Thanks, Truman.
Drew pulled up Mae’s circular drive to the colonial façade, got out, and discovered that her key no longer fit. She pushed the doorbell in the brass lion’s mouth several times before the door finally swung open and there was Holly wearing a shapeless charcoal sweatshirt, holding a huge roll of tape.
“Oh, it’s you. What do you want? I’m busy.”
“Is she home?” Drew peeked over Holly’s shoulder at the naked walls of the foyer. The Frida Kahlo rip-off stood with cardboard corners and a clear film of plastic against a wall. “Redecorating?”
Holly shrugged. “Needed a kid-friendly place. Better security, no pool. What do you want?”
“I just wanted to ask her something.” At the end of the hallway, through the giant window, the pool glowed blue as ozone. “Where is she, anyway?”
Holly rolled her eyes. “I’m just the assistant. I don’t know exactly where she is at every moment. Maybe you should give her a call.”
“Holly, does she ever mention me? Or was she just pretending?”
Drew tried to counteract the whine in her voice with a big smile, while Holly’s mouth pressed into a line.
“Listen. Mae was extremely generous with you. I should know because I wrote the checks. Many talented people would jump at the chance to earn that kind of money but she took a chance on a nobody like you. She saw something that no one else saw and it paid off for you both in the end, didn’t it? Now I need to get busy, so if you don’t mind….”
The door was almost closed when Drew blurted out, “Are you her mother?”
Holly’s face was just visible in the crack of the door: grey skin, drab hair, flat line of mouth. Drew was sorry she asked. Holly looked right into her eyes when she said, “Nobody’s Mae’s mother. Mae made herself.” And shut the door.
“The end of a melody is not its goal: but nonetheless, had the melody not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either. A parable.” –Friedrich Nietzsche
“Bilbo: Have you thought of an ending?
Frodo: Yes, several, and all are dark and unpleasant.
Bilbo: Oh, that won’t do! Books ought to have good endings. How would this do: and they all settled down and lived together happily ever after?
Frodo: It will do well, if it ever came to that.
SamL Ah! And where will they live? That’s what I often wonder.” –JRR Tolkien
“I see the poem or the novel ending with an open door”.–Michael Ondaatje