Adoption, loss, and a tragic love affair. Kassandra goes about her evening still caught up in her friend Jeeves’ stories.
She wants Franny to hear Jeeves tell her tales, perhaps capture them into an epic novel. Or, she considers, maybe I should incorporate them into this sculpture, this piece I’m doing. Somehow, some way, she wants the stories to stay alive.
Because isn’t that what art does for us? It keeps our stories alive, preserves part of our histories, experiences, perceptions, takes them out of the fleeting world of time and hold them in a more permanent space.
And in so doing, changes them. They become something other than the real experiences, with all their nuances and messiness and incongruities. Art keeps our stories alive but at a cost: they cease to grow, become frozen, missing a piece or two: a photograph of two people smiling in front of a new car, a new home, a landmark on vacation, but always the photographer lost from the frame.
Kassandra spends all night in her studio, lost in the act of creation, pondering what is also destroyed in the process.
Meanwhile, Jeeves had made herself a beautiful, big salad for her supper, with some fantastic bread and a glass of deep red wine. She props herself on her couch with the oldest photograph album she still possesses, keeps the wine carefully away from its brittle pages, and traces the outlines of faces:
Her mother and father, her cousins, her teenage sweetheart, standing by their cars and homes and the trees that sheltered them, and people whose names she can no longer recall; most of these faces are captured in happy moments, smiling, a few seem ready to weep or fall into a rage.
It feels miraculous, the girl who knew all those people now sitting on a comfortable sofa, drinking a glass of remarkably good wine. How on earth, Jeeves wonders, did that transformation happen without me even realizing it?
She falls asleep on the couch, dreaming a parade of raging, weeping, smiling faces.