Would you open the door?
Ceci n’est pas un pape by Jon Graham
There is a knock at the door. You open it and see André Breton. Would you invite him in (and why)? Or close the door (and why)?
I’d invite him in, so that I could offer his exquisite corpse some new wine.
I’d open the door, so I could give him a reluctant hug and show him my fridge full of small mammalian specimens.
The why would get stuck in the door handle. Susan forks sunshine. Too bad.
He’d be a skeleton, so it would be a little creepy and he would be hard to distinguish from all the other skeletons. It might be awkward, because if you offered him coffee it would run right through him onto the floor. We could discuss life or death, but I don’t speak French and Google translate is such a brain twister.
I would let him in on the condition that he leave his pet, Quetzalcoatl, outside.
-JB: Don’t you have any Quetzalcoatl hangers?!?
-CC: Unfortunately, my three-tailed armadillo chewed them all to bits.
He’s here now, we are having a fine old time. He refused coffee though…
I’d play a quick word game with him and pose a riddle in English. He could answer in French (the surprise would be there are no wrong answers) and then enter. I’d break out my English to French dictionary and devour it to learn instant French. He’d be wearing the glasses he had on the cover of Anthology of Black Humor.
Yes, because the fainting God could bring me a dancing, yellow armchair.
He can come in the front door but then go straight out of the back door.
I invite him inside to ask him a question that I have been pondering for many years. I have always known that this particular inquiry could only be broached in front of a roaring fire on a cold and rainy night. I take his umbrella and escort him to the open hearth of my marble fireplace. The shadow of his enormous black and red plumage dances fiercely on the twisted faces of the mantelpiece gargoyles. As he warms up in the luminescent glow of the crackling flames, he seems less like a translucent apparition and more like a sizzling lightning bolt. He tells me that he was drawn to my doorway by some strange magnetic force which he cannot explain.
Slowly taking off my velvet octopus mask, I ask him whether Jacques Vaché had x-ray eyes?
Of course, I would open the door and invite André Breton in for a glass of absinthe and to continue the seance game I played with him in a dream New Year’s Eve 2015.
I consider him my best friend of my lifetime. It would be wonderful to see him. Perhaps the major influence on my life. Like yesterday though 50 plus years have passed. In my mind’s eye I still see him and Toyen and the Paris friends clearly.
I would definitely let André Breton in and immediately take him down to the wine cellar of my house (which is dug in the chalk 25 feet down), where close to one thousand bottles of various wines have been sleeping in the dark for over thirty years. I would involve Breton in a collage “exquisite corpse” with scissors and glue-sticks, with numerous glasses of wine in hand!