|Toby Austin Gooley|
|It's snowing outside, and Marlene Dietrich is following me. With that top hat of hers, her oh-so-dapper waistcoat. This ringmaster in the walls, with that cigarette frozen in time. I'm being stalked by a photograph. |
"Why are you following me, Marlene Dietrich?"
She doesn't say anything, takes a drag of her photochemical cigarette.
"I guess you must be from Berlin, huh?"
She winks. I rub my forhead.
"Sorry, I'm a little hungover. Swiss punks kept feeding me Bloody Marys."
She laughs, in silence, to herself. With an expansive wave of that cigarette.
"Swiss Punks with hiccups. And surprisingly beautiful eyes..."
She nods, in understanding. My meal arrives, rich in horseradish. Good for influenza and the only word I understand. I toast my cup of coffee to this old dead movie star. Food fortifies my mind.
"I'm sorry, I've never seen any of your films. I know very little about you, really. Just pop culture references. I get the impression you're something of a gay icon, but I might be wrong about that."
Marlene Dietrich smiles a wicked smile. And sits there, being glamorous. At length, I take a book from the shelf. Some tacky travel guide, to thumb through as I eat.
And there, on the page, are directions to Marlene Dietrich's grave.