The Fluttering Phantom

"Oh consarn it!", exclaimed Care-Free Carol, "--Wait, it's like one of those wagonless horse- AUTOS!! Aye, but Sid, let me tell ya, It's much more-- that is--it goes toot! Toot! And then-- wait! Do you have a pen! No?! Wait! I'll get-- {whistles} Murray!! Can we get a ---"

and she mimed a writing action through the loitering wafts of cigarette clouds. Like a delayed mirror, her target waved a confirmation between serving the crowds. "Thanks MURRAY!" she bellowed. "What? Who cares if that's not his naaaaaaame- no one can HEAR anything in this CONSARNED place anyway!" and thus, our simmering laughter grew raucous because it WAS too loud.

Fluttering Phantom Portion.jpg

This was Care-Free Carol's World; we were all merely seated at her table. An interesting detail about her was that she had nine fingers and no college. Yea, but that didn't matter. In the name of that fluttering eye-lash of hers- it didn't matter. Everywhere she went- she was the group's favourite; genuine- like an animal- akin to the  unflappably playful Otter; and yet miraculously able to afford an aura of No.5 air all about her.

She memorably exclaimed, "I'm a scientist of my own experience' why do I need a college deGREE?!"

Indeed, there was something peculiar about this 'intuitive academic' with the wanting campus experience and the laugh that twined upward like a parakeet. 

"The Fluttering Phantom" by S.S. Landerman

"The Fluttering Phantom" by S.S. Landerman

I suddenly found it hilarious that I studied law like everyone told me to rather than what I actually wanted. I couldn't stop laughing. My whole great unknown quarry of a waiting life lay spread out beyond me. I am still there spinning in last night's party whilst the lights burn into my memory- like fiery floating topazes. How insufferable it is whence a creature of the heart barrels in like a laughing phantom. It's as though she steals all your lives away but the remaining one. And that is her message: "You only have One."

How easy it is to forget we have a limited number of days to do the things that are of real value.

She had a beautiful funeral. I gave it a nice little write up in the paper- human interest. I kept that napkin onwhich she drew that- that charming invention. Strange. It's been fifty years but it is always 'Last Night's Consarned Napkin'.




Below: A Little Time-Lapse of the illustration process... to the musics of La Femme. Enjoy!