Excerpt from a Novel
Pip Hardy was having ice cream when he noticed a woman pass by, riding an elephant, who was standing for Parliament. He’d learn all the details beneath the phenomenon later. My forefathers and foremothers told me about the time in which they climbed the mountains and danced with snowflakes that aspired to be summerflakes, or ‘bees,’ as the humans call them. Must find a way to transcribe this. The world moved in multiple gear shifts and multiple speeds, and sometimes the presence of one gear gravity-warped all the others. In the short term, though, it was a woman on an elephant in Glasgow passing by one prefabricated house after the other, moving with the kind of speed and grace that suggested that the buildings themselves were partly responsible for willing the creature and the rider into the world.
He had dropped his spoon on the table with a clatter and ran out into the road. A bit of coffee smudged itself on the page here as if to prove the point and flag the passing future gumshoe down. A far-off voice called out to my Nonno, “But you didn’t pay!” He turned around. “Non avete pagato!” He shrugged. Behind him, he could hear the elephant breathing in and out. “But for what?” He called back, then realized: the ice cream was still in his hand, but as he looked down, the trunk moved down, wrapping itself around the cone and tugging itself free from mi nonno’s hands with a slight, sucking pop, swinging itself free and clear in a wide arc to thwack against the door opposite The Ice Cream Parlor’s. There was a slight pause, some congenial kitchen whistling, and an old woman opened the door to see an ice cream cone with an elephant attached to it with a distant woman on top waving her arms back and forth and shouting, “Vote for me!”
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