Upon seeing Anne Carson read at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery—or, more accurately, upon departing from aforementioned reading—I realized what I wanted more than anything was to be a king and to keep Ms. Carson in a lovely cage, gilt perhaps or white, to entertain me all the time. That she also would wear white as she performed her duties in this capacity was a thing I knew for no reason I could put my finger on. Being a woman I could not become a king but I was able to finagle a rash marriage to an Arab prince. In the brief and amiable window of our consummated nuptials I explained my desire to him and while uncomprehending he was willing to accommodate it, within reason. Of course first of all we could not afford Ms. Carson—there were jets to keep fueled—nor—he ventured and I agreed—would she be likely to accept our offer even were the sum made enticing. Further, in the near-inconceivable scenario in which she did accept, there would be the problem of how bright she was; bright enough, certainly, to consistently make us all feel dull and lacking in erudition, which would be especially humiliating in light of the terrible desire I had to possess her in the first place. What was therefore located and obtained was an actress who resembled Ms. Carson rather strikingly and who, having been instructed to watch every reading Ms. Carson had ever done (those that had been recorded and posted on the internet, that is), was able to do an excellent impression. “Sunnily morose” is how I would have described it. Unfortunately this individual—I don’t believe I ever knew her name; naturally at mealtimes and so forth we called her Anne—was hard pressed to ad lib. “Tell us more about the abjection of eros,” I would say (foolishly in thrall to this ruse of our collective devising), and she’d clam right up. Sometimes she’d choke out a few fragments from the more obscure moments of her namesake’s oeuvre, but of course they were nonsense in her mouth, babble with visible seams. Anyway it wasn’t long before we realized we had to kill her—well, really it was my idea, I don’t know what it was exactly but the whole fiasco needed some kind of clean and ceremonious ending, I suppose a bit like putting a pet to sleep once it has reached the point where it won’t stop urinating on the floor.
I remember standing at the bow of the yacht: pale stuttering blot of white going to blue, going to deeper blue as she sank—
and a sudden sharp pucker in my heart like a stitch caught with a knot behind it but just, just for a moment relax. Relax; no need to pull the thread so hard. There is only blue, blue everywhere; yes, see, and sunshine; and the sweet waves slapping the boat as if to say silly creature. You poor silly creature. You poor dumb thing.
Ameni Rozsa left California aged 16 swearing never to return, which constitutes a fine object lesson in the perils of negative intentionality. She currently lives in LA where she devotes most of her time to screenwriting (a.k.a. attempting to balance the remote possibility of earthquake-related injury against the only slightly remoter possibility of someday writing for money). She holds an MFA in fiction from UT’s Michener Center for Writers.