Posted on: June 6th, 2010 Barrenness

By Jackie Jones

I haven’t spoken to Georg since the Anschluss.

When we met, he was still married to the daughter of the torpedo inventor.

When we parted, he had married the fat maid.

A woman has a certain window, if she is beautiful. She must act before the window is bricked up forever and she is on the other side, just like that horrible Poe story, only without the wine.

When the Fuhrer fell for me at the party, of course I agreed to stay. He had a long history of suicidal blondes, but some did very well when they lived. Long ago, in England, Anne of Cleves got a nice settlement and lived. But then again, she was ugly.

Georg was naturally distraught. “What about the children?” he asked.

“Maria can take care of them,” I assured him.

“They hate her, you know that.”

“Yes, I know. Maria is a brute, a Panzer. Oberkommando of the scullery with a piercingly flat soprano that could shatter more than one Jewish business. She is a monster. But how can I turn down the Fuhrer?”

“He makes you a whore, then.”

“He doesn’t sleep with women. Max told me. And I’m your whore.”

Events happened quickly then. Eva the idiot was constantly in the way. I suppose stupidity leaves less of an edge on a face, giving one more time. She was half my age when he met her, after all, and hidden away from the light like a mushroom. She was so like Blondie, his Shepherd, patted and put away.

I thought perhaps I was turning into an elegant antique that one showed friends; something one found on one’s travels. And so I was.

I would hear terrible news from the children. Liesl saw Rolf kissing Max in the Gazebo. Maria drank in Georg’s private chapel almost every night. In the day she woke up to drill the children relentlessly. But they did not like her as they loved me.

People respond to beauty; it launches ships and sinks them equally. Does it encourage talent? A muse inspires, but perhaps does not train. You’d need an Austrian cow for that, apparently.

Later, after the war, when they all ended up in America, Brigitta contacted me from Hollywood, California and told me she was offered exorbitant amounts of money to act in a Space Show – was I interested?

I went, but the window had been bricked up. I was too old. Too old even to play the mother.

Beautiful people are meant to be in entertainment. The rewards are faster than government, but sometimes people confuse their purpose in life. I should have gone with them all along.

There was a brief moment when I could have escaped with them. When Max came to me breathlessly and said there is, in fact, a way.

“Do you sing?” he asked.

“No,” I said, “Not a note.”

Filed under: bad-ass, stories

10 Responses to “Barrenness”

  1. Huge Jazz Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Brilliant. At least what I could understand of it.

  2. Huge Jazz Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Brilliant. At least what I could understand of it.

  3. Leslie Madison Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Jackie Jones’ writing carries her fortunate readers to unexplored levels of insight and obscure vantage points that are marvelous and enriching. More! More!

  4. Leslie Madison Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Jackie Jones’ writing carries her fortunate readers to unexplored levels of insight and obscure vantage points that are marvelous and enriching. More! More!

  5. Brick Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    A drop of golden sun in the dearth of serious reflection on the complexities of the Von Trapp family dynamic. The Barrenness is my new favorite thing.

  6. Brick Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    A drop of golden sun in the dearth of serious reflection on the complexities of the Von Trapp family dynamic. The Barrenness is my new favorite thing.

  7. The Quick Brown Fox Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    To write like Jackie Jones would be like looking in a mirror and seeing perfection. Her wry humor and insightful use of words that harvest memories from the collective conscience leave nothing to be desired after the pure and total satisfaction one gets for reading the piece over again…except more, more, more.

    Please contribute more, Jackie Jones.

  8. The Quick Brown Fox Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    To write like Jackie Jones would be like looking in a mirror and seeing perfection. Her wry humor and insightful use of words that harvest memories from the collective conscience leave nothing to be desired after the pure and total satisfaction one gets for reading the piece over again…except more, more, more.

    Please contribute more, Jackie Jones.

  9. Laura Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Love Jackie’s writing: Brilliantly clever, sprinkled with sardonic wit, skillful deepness in brevity mixed with insightful commentary on the human experiences of regret, beauty(and not),and getting older…Yes, more of Ms. Jones, please!

  10. Laura Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Love Jackie’s writing: Brilliantly clever, sprinkled with sardonic wit, skillful deepness in brevity mixed with insightful commentary on the human experiences of regret, beauty(and not),and getting older…Yes, more of Ms. Jones, please!

  11. Hooked Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    mehr bitte

  12. Hooked Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    mehr bitte

  13. Susan Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    These words are truly alive with Jackie off-beat wit. Please don’t keep us waiting long for the next installment. Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay HEE hoo!

  14. Susan Says:
    June 6th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    These words are truly alive with Jackie off-beat wit. Please don’t keep us waiting long for the next installment. Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay HEE hoo!

  15. RubyVice Says:
    June 7th, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Brilliant, hysterical. Please sir, may I have some more? Oooh! Maybe she can take on Nancy next.

  16. RubyVice Says:
    June 7th, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Brilliant, hysterical. Please sir, may I have some more? Oooh! Maybe she can take on Nancy next.

  17. Suzana Norberg Says:
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    It’s no surprise that a reoccurring word in these comments is “brilliant.” It’s really the only way to describe Miss Jackie’s writing. I just keep rereading to savor the brilliance. Like chewing my wine. More please, indeed.

  18. Suzana Norberg Says:
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    It’s no surprise that a reoccurring word in these comments is “brilliant.” It’s really the only way to describe Miss Jackie’s writing. I just keep rereading to savor the brilliance. Like chewing my wine. More please, indeed.

  19. Sandra Odell Says:
    June 12th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I had to read the story twice because I didn’t at first realize that I recognized the references. And once I did…

    Brilliant isn’t praise enough.

  20. Sandra Odell Says:
    June 12th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I had to read the story twice because I didn’t at first realize that I recognized the references. And once I did…

    Brilliant isn’t praise enough.