Arianna wrote her first letter to Santa Claus at the age of four. She has not stopped writing since. She graduated from UC Berkeley with B.A. in English and currently lives and writes in Los Angeles.
The Charming Mr. Sidwell
Mr. Sidwell had an odd propensity for anthropomorphism, zoomorphism, any phism- it made him fizzle. Take for example, his china tea cup, whose flower details twisted up like a mustache, reminding him of his father, who was sturdy but delicate- a complicated man with a firm belief in the Marxist truth that the binding facet of this modernized world, was that at our core, resided radically contradictory natures. Though Mr. Sidwell never could understand much about his father, this theory he knew true, as he felt that he was, at his own core, radically contradictory; defunct, perverted, and still a thoughtful man of science and theory. For besides science, theory, fables ridden with anthropomorphic detail, he had, on the contrary, an odd propensity for small children. He engaged them in long conversation, like little Caroline, who currently sat on the sofa across from the older man.
“When two people talk to each other, it is either to death, or they yearn for a third,” he began, “It is truly just this simple.”
He gazed upon his adoring subject, following his every word.
“No two people make a shape,” he continued, “think of this, two straight lines, they can not make anything other than other lines.”
“What about if you bend them in half,” she inquired, more of a thoughtful statement than a question.
“I said straight” he replied thoughtless and quickly. “The semantics are very particular.”
Caroline bobbed her head in an apologetic “I’m sorry sir” motion.
He continued, “Now if two people cannot create a whole, a full shape, a full entity, then what they are searching for, is that third.”
“Or death!” she chimed in.
“Yes, that is right,” he acknowledged, smiling, “or death.”
“But what of a circle?” she was intrigued now, though only a child of seven, she knew there was something magical within him, within these theories, and the contemplative tea parties he arranged for them.
“Well, a circle,” he took a long, dark sip from his tea cup, his mustache long enough that it dangled down around the rim meshing with the flowered mustache of his father, “has no beginning and no end- a circle,” he placed the tea cup down, “is one person.”
“And yet,” she excitedly stammered out, brimming with the belief that she had found the hole in his circle, “a circle is complete!”
She blushed at the word damn. It turned her cheeks hot and red.
“So then what of marriage?” she managed to wrangle out; she didn’t want him to think that she had not been listening.
“What of it?” he asked.
“That is a pair.”
“A pair indeed, only completed by the third, the child.” He smiled at her. “You are the completion of a pair, my child.”
This did not satisfy her.
“But people with children fail too, and are parents only meant to have one child, what of brothers and sisters?”
“I have not denied that human beings are tragically flawed, this great fact… I too am tragically flawed,” which as he announced he reached across the table and placed his hand on her lap.
“I only buy houses on the odd side of the street,” he continued, his hand moving slowly towards the lace along her hem, “which is how I came to live next to you.”
She knew here was the moment in which she needed to distract him, and she loved their conversation, the tea, he treated her as though an adult and wise.
“But what if you love a house with an even number?” she shouted.
He smiled larger, “Well then I don’t love it.” His hand had disappeared.
“Well then what of ZERO!” she projected fully, her whole body, it exploded from her, from a place she could not name.
His hand reappeared to scratch his head. This had worked.
“Ahh my child,” he poured himself more tea, until the last droplet plopped from the bed of tealeaves into his cup.