Embodied Effigies, Issue Three

Page 111

The Visitation Iris Dorbian

He told me he was a direct descendant of Dutch royalty and even showed me an antique ring on his finger claiming it was an heirloom tracing back to the Hapsburgs. He also told me that his mother was an engineer who worked at Cape Canaveral and that he was a member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Oscar voter but he decided not to vote that year because he was protesting the insipidness of the nominations and the movie industry in general. He also said that he had a roommate who defecated in the elevator and another one who was Oedipally involved with his mother. But the real whopper that stood out from the rest concerned a devastating car accident that Paul had been involved in many Christmases ago when he was still a student at a small college in Vermont before transferring to NYU. During the holiday break, Paul was driving a car while his beloved fiancÊe Francesca was in the passenger’s seat. It was late and the snow was falling down very heavily. Paul and Francesca were coming back from eating dinner at a local restaurant where they had stayed past closing time, drinking wine and chatting with the other customers. They were heading back to the dorm in Burlington when Paul noticed a deer running across the road. Swerving to avoid hitting the animal, he ended up hitting a pole, killing Francesca instantly and causing him injuries that landed him in a hospital for months. Because he was so grief-stricken, he dropped out of school in Vermont and decided to make a clean break with his recent tragic past by applying to NYU where he was accepted on a scholarship. It was a story that when he would tell it, his eyes would show that he was reliving the whole horrific experience of losing the love of his life in a terrible twist of fate. I didn’t know what to believe. Was this true or another fabrication? I was never sure but somehow I always wanted to believe him, particularly because at times he seemed like a lost kindred spirit. But often when Paul was spinning yet another possible yarn, one Embodied Effigies | 101