Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta – Kate Braverman

I need help from the author to jump-start my thoughts.
From her contributor’s notes:

“Tall Tales is about the legacy of Vietnam, which continues to infect the American conscience, often in unexpected configurations. It’s about tarnished consciousness and some unspeakably sordid pulse at the core of the American Dream. On one level, it’s about the irresistible lure of evil, its strange sheen. It’s about relationships between men and women and some overwhelming darkness that may be intrinsic to this planet itself. It was here before us and it will remain when we are gone. It has something to do with sexual obsession and the glamour of danger and the fragility of ordinary life. It’s about power and survival in a landscape where the boundaries between dream and reality have dissolved, probably to a rock-and-roll beat.”

Thank god Kate wrote the above.

Just when I thought I would be able to get back into writing here, I encounter this challenge.

As I sit here and write this, I re-read it over and over attempting to relate.

Is there anything in the story that I can really draw a line to a point in my life?

The male/female relationship?
-No…I don’t see it there.

-The sexual obsession, glamour of danger and fragility of ordinary life?


I recognize the fragility of ordinary life – I’ve come to the very edge of absolute heartbreak – but through an incredible series of practiced medical hands – I was spared that awful experience.

Power and survival?

-Sure, I see it daily in my line of work.

I think though that at my age – perhaps it’s the irresistible lure of evil. 

It may be silly but I think that we can all apply evil to different “things” in our lives. The obvious – drugs, infidelity…you know the rest. But I think the “evil” that lures me and that is the most dangerous to me is complacency in my life.

Sometimes I feel that I’m treading water – and that can be dangerous and evil not just for me but for those who rely on my support.

Does that “evil” have an attraction, a lure?

Sure it does. It’s the easy way out of life.

I struggle against the complacency and Lenny (from the story) keeps showing up along the paths of my life. He and I share great stories – and I follow him more times than I should. 

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