Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"Mr. Barbicane Takes A Trip" Chapter Thirty-Three

As Vivian Teller danced for her dog it was black outside the windows of the MD-80 where Diana sat on the arm rest of 4-B leaning close to Lloyd Barton. She could see her reflection in the window behind him. She thought she was sitting to great advantage. In the parking lot of The Olive Garden the growing darkness was held back by the mercury vapor lamps as Vickie and her mother walked toward the restaurant. They could see Rory waiting for them by the door.

Near Donegal, Pennsylvania, night poured into The Durwood Family Drive-In, but Mr. Barbicane did not notice.

He had made the choice not to proceed and was comfortable with that decision. As the details of the inside of the car around him grew dim and indistinguishable, he continued the process by which he gave himself over to this new condition of motionlessness.

Mr. Barbicane was becoming the still center of everything, the axis about which all else turned. All around him people moved and spun and danced, but Mr. Barbicane did none of these things. Other people might love and lose and blunder through life, but not Mr. Barbicane. He has decided to remain where he is. He will never arrive and he will not be missed. No longer the passenger, no longer in motion.

The thought of this warms Mr. Barbicane as he looks through the windshield and smiles. Ahead of him is the blank screen of the theater, becoming less distinct with every passing moment.

Soon it will be impossible to know where the screen ends and where the sky begins.


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