Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Aqua Velva

Aqua Velva was her name. Her parents were funny like that. Named after her grandfather, who was not himself named Aqua Velva but reeked of it so much that everything that he touched smelled of it. And when he died, the possessions that were handed down from him had the same smell, and all of his children who had inherited these bits and pieces of him—his car, his house, his records and cardigan sweater—would smell like him for decades later.

Aqua Velva’s parents had received a toaster oven and a TV in the final distribution, and even these stank of the old man’s aftershave—though to an admittedly lesser degree than the sweater.

And something else about the TV: though it was not large (a twenty-one inch screen), the set weighed so much that it took six men to carry it from the old man’s house to his youngest son’s small bungalow only three doors down the street.

The six men were like pall-bearers carrying the TV down the steps, down the street and into the son’s house. And two of the men had even been pall-bearers for the old man’s funeral and had remarked to each other when the job was done that the corpse had been considerably lighter than his TV.

They put the TV set in the basement—perhaps fearing no other floor could hold the weight, and there it remained forever.

Aqua Velva was born a year later and grew up watching that TV. And sometimes she thought about the grandfather she never knew, even as the scent of him finally faded and the TV now smelled of nothing but electricity, warm plastic, burning dust.

Her own parents eventually died, leaving her the condo but no particular smell. She went on with her life with the perpetual image of mom, dad, and grandpa looking down on her from a cloud. She could see them there, with elbows propped in white fluff. Maybe halos. Somewhere a harp.

It made sex difficult for her and eventually she painted the ceiling of her bedroom black, figuring that would help. It did some.

Whenever she met someone new, they asked her about her unusual name. Sometimes she told them about her grandfather. Sometimes she lied.

It’s French, was her favorite lie. A name of royalty. A wealthy and powerful family that had lost their heads during the French Revolution. During the High Terror, when the streets ran with blood and the usual raw waste.

It doesn’t sound French, the people would sometimes say.

It’s old French, she would tell them as they slowly lost interest and the day wound down and she went home to the house her parents had left her. She would watch TV for awhile in the basement, before going up to bed. Her old bedroom. Then she would fall asleep staring into the blackness of the ceiling. She would dream but without pictures or colors. Then she would awake and do it all again.

4 Comments:

Blogger Bobby Farouk said...

You have established the standard for Aqua Velva stories.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Hope Dangling said...

At least she wasn't named Pepto Bismol.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Had her parents named her Aqua Vulva, sex might have been easier.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous aquabot said...

I am quiet surprised to hear about that Aqua Velva; I mean these very much appear like the fantasy flavour with some modern touch...Tell me you are talking just because its some kinda popular story....!!

5:35 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home