Sunday, October 30, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
What think you of this?
'You're a great idiot,' I said to Wolfgang at breakfast when he suggested I should take the waters to recover my spirits. 'There is no spa that will cure me of this.'
'And what pray, is THIS?' he asked, 'which makes you growl and snap as if I have drunk all the milk on the table?'
‘Brother dear, I beg that you will do SOMETHING more than common - more than extraordinary for me.' I carefully picked up the last crumbs from my plate with my fourth and fifth fingers before continuing. 'I would thank you NEVER to make hint of my monthly cloth again - or to say that I am ever disadvantaged by it.'
'My most beloved blister - I never have - except in your opinion.'
'Exactly. In MY opinion!'
At which point, I left the table in tears and Wolfie gave the rest of the milk to Miss Pimperl in a fine china bowl on the floor underneath the clavier. N.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Last night I had a dream about it. There was no black powder, no Pulvis Epilepticus, no husband, no daughter to ease my poor mother's fever in this vision. Wolfgang, you will note, not Wolfie or Jack Pudding, but Wolfgang was shouting in Mama's ear, the one that was not buried in her soft, French pillow. (Why French? Was she not meant to be in Mannheim?) My dear brother kept insisting Mama was deaf in her delerium and that if he shouted loud enough to frighten an elephant, he would be able to reach her thoughts. Basta!
In this same paradoxical dream, I am flung upon my Salzburg bed and vomiting with grief. My dear Mama, I cry, I want you back. I see your face through the wrong end of a telescope. When you laugh, we laugh. When you withdraw, we will be devastated. Papa is locked in his room, writing a letter to your son. I'll say a Paternoster for your soul as I sleep. In this infernal nightmare I cannot touch you on the other side of the telescope. This is a world I do not wish to inhabit and so I wake up, entirely wet, calling you by name.
'What is it my dearest child?' you say in that loving way of yours as you approach my bed. 'No, I am not your dearest,' I reply, 'or you would not leave me for Paris.' 'Paris? Who mentioned Paris? You are dreaming, Nan,' and you smile and pull back the covers from my tossing limbs. 'Enjoy what we have together now.'
Friday, October 21, 2005
Saint Gilgen's Church
Thursday, October 20, 2005
The afternoon: In all day. Practised my brother's new sonata and inserted a downward run at the end of the third movement. Prestississimo.
The late night: Ate half a trout and passed the evening with Katharina Gilowska before a game of cards with Papa. I was, he said, his model for the Queen of Hearts, which he painted in triplicate for the Widow Von Durst, Mama and me. Feel myself quite calm and indifferent. Am I grown dull already? Or is it a calm confidence in a fixed reputation? The truth is I am inconstant and fickle and never sure of myself for two days together. It is as much as I can do to remain warm in this cold weather. I require more than one flame for this, Count Anton, or I shall become an old maid. For what woman can bear to see a man so long an admirer, and yet so cautious as to guard against the least advancement except by promises? I suspect at the base of his heart there is nothing more, which means we are both great pretenders and will laugh off our passion in time for Lent. N.