"Sweet Art Appreciation" a short story by Jackqueline W. Siglin from the Big Bend Gazette January 2008
Jan 26, 2008
|I purchased the local paper (the only paper as they say) for the Big Bend area on our way out of the park. That night in Del Rio I read it and was surprised to see an article the Prada exhibit. It wasn't until I got to the end that I noticed it was a short story...here it is.
"Is he dead?" The woman asked.
"I don't think so, mam. He's got a strong pulse." Deputy Gonzales stepped from the tangle of metal and glass that had been a window in the Prada Marfa art installation north of Valentine, Texas. "The ambulance is on the way. My partner will stay with him until then."
"Thank the lord," the woman dabbed at her eyes with a hankie.
"Can you tell me what happened?" About two-thirds of a 40' NewMar Mountain Aire motor home stuck out from the minimalist art project, most of a gray Prada canopy draped across its roof.
"I don't know," she said. "We stopped at that cute little post office in Valentine. Next week is February 14th, and I wanted my envelopes stamped, like the Visitor's Guide said they would. After we pulled in, I told him I'd only be a minute, but Harold's an impatient guy. Maybe I talked a little too long to the clerk."
Deputy Gonzales took out a white accident form. "Your husband's name is Harold?"
"Yes." The woman nodded. "Harold Henderson, and I'm light Henderson. That's short for D'Light." She winked at him. "We're from Milwaukee. Anyway, like I was telling you, Harold was gone."
"And you found him here?"
"Someone came running into the post office saying an RV had gone through the window of that funny store which doesn't sell things. I knew it had to be Harold. He can be so careless. I caught a ride with a nice man in his pickup. We tried to get to Harold, but the pullout steps wouldn't work. I didn't know until you told me just now if he was dead or alive."
The scream of sirens covered the Deputy's next question. In single file, the wrecker, ambulance, and Prada Marfa's overseer careened into the gravel pullout. The EMT's headed to Harold, the wrecker driver sauntered to the RV, and a thin woman, dressed in black, hurried over to Light and Deputy Gonzales.
"My god, it's in shambles," she said.
Light smiled at her. "Fading into oblivion."
"Pardon," the woman said.
"That's what I read in the article in the Visitor's Guide. Eventually it will become a ruin."
"Eventually might be the key word," the woman spat. "This looks like a train wreck."
"You could always pay them to leave the RV in there," Deputy Gonzales said, a smile playing at the edge of his lips. "Give it that experiential slant."
The woman sniffed.
Light sat on the edge of the Harold's bed at the Big Bend Regional Medical Center. "The RV repair guy said it didn't look too bad. That fake store was made of adobe, but it wasn't too solid. The engine's ok, we'll need a new grill, bumper, work on the doors."
"You get the purse?" Harold asked.
She smiled, pulled the black Prada bag out of a sack. "You are such a sweetie."
"Anything for you, Light," he whispered. "Happy Valentine's Day."
Isn't that a great story?