Dvořák’s Instant Camera

The walls of The Orchid Room are painted with all the pretty shades its various misfits have had knocked out of them over the years, and you are just as likely to find a tooth, removed by force on the bathroom floor, as you are to find a fairy of some description, granting you all the wishes you don’t want, all the nightmares you dare to dream…

His eyes glossed over, something alchemic and blue. Poured like a social taboo and broken easy over ice, its after-chill made a mockery of caution.

Back at home, the last bars of a Bolero were calling his furniture to life, dancing the sad and baroque tragedy of a man too stylish to cry. The man’s tuxedo developed a damp red stain around his heart, which puzzled him.

When he locked the door behind him, his house became another world, with different wallpaper.

It was as if he was viewing it from the city’s dilapidated observatory.

Would it matter to him, then, that his home was now engulfed in flames, as a candle he forgot to extinguish fell over, stupidly and without reason? –

The flame spread first to read old comic books – an early issue of Superman he would never get back, and a Polaroid of a human, forgotten by time.

and you can’t get the film for those things anymore.

He auctioned a document signed by a certain dictator –

The flame is now engrossed in his chessboard, and makes some good moves.
His anthology of Dickens.
He had been reading about psychology.
But Dvořák’s P.I. turned up close to nothing.

What would the flame think of videocassettes? Not much.

Dvořák wore an eyepatch, with an embroidered globe. So he’d remember his days as a scientist and businessman – which almost made him feel like the Earth was the most beautiful thing to be sold.

and he wore the patch on the eye that wasn’t blind.

He had in his hand, at most times, an instant camera.

Now, Offenbach’s Can-Can from Orpheus in the Underworld
to give the fire something lively to dance to,

There was no doubt now that
the candle and the gramophone
were in cahoots.

Back at The Orchid Room, he asked if there were any rooms you’d want to close your eyes in,

whether The Orchid Room ever took in guests

“What, are you crazy?”
was the reply.

“what the…fuck! You’re bleeding!”

Like the stray cat that wandered into the composer’s home, in the old Empire:
“our spee- *cough* -cies has a chance”,
muttered Dvořák,
before he died.

3 Responses

  1. Peter, this is my absolute favourite Orchid Room piece of all time. There have been many fantastic pieces of writingmusicdancing mindpuzzling in here but that is immaculate and perfect and wondrous, you are an artist of the highest calibre,

  2. okay so to add to everything Paul said above (especially the calibre part and the immaculate thing) I was listening to Avishai Cohen cd when I read this (I added the track which is “Etude” to my blog so you can hear) and i think it added a fascinating quickness to the story; going in and out of the rooms especially with the wallpaper changes. very cool piece, i’m thoroughly impressed

  3. you’re right mrs. sarah, that track fits perfectly.thanks. glad you liked it

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