51:32:35 l0:03:22

TGI Paul

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Jewelling The Elephant"

'My friend, whose name was Boyd, joined the Peace Corps in the late sixties. He was sent to a village in India where he fell in love with a local girl and eventually proposed to her. But Boyd's blue-blooded parents back in South Carolina were so aghast at the prospect of dusky grandchildren that they refused to attend the wedding in New Delhi.
So Boyd sent them photographs. The bride turned out to be an aristocrat of the highest caste, better bred by far than any member of Boyd's family. The couple had been wed in regal splendor, perched atop a pair of jewelled elephants. Boyd's parents, imprisoned in their middle-class snobbery, had managed to miss the social event of a lifetime.
I had told that story so often that Jess knew it by heart. So when Boyd came to town on business and met Jess for the first time, Jess was sure he had the perfect opener. "Well," he said brightly, "Gabriel tells me you got married on an elephant."
Boyd just blinked at him in confusion.
I could already feel myself reddening. "You weren't?"
"No," Boyd said with an uncomfortable laugh. "We were married in a Presbyterian church."
Jess said nothing, but he gave me a heavylidded stare whose meaning I had long before learned to decipher: You are never to be trusted with the facts.'

Extract from "The Night Listener"
by Armistead Maupin
©2001 Literary Bent, LLC. All rights reserved.


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