After driving over the newly renamed audre lorde bridge, Swann realized how condensed the city is, looking from the Brooklyn waterfront ruins dark at dusk across the water at the bigger city skyline golden against the crisp yellow sky like a city in amber, then walking down the street past the curios shops full of bizzaro goods, that one could visit and always see something different, from sixties toys and pajamas, to snakes, testtubes, medicines and delicate machines that you didn't know what they could do.
Swann visited her Aunt Violet in the Feline Way floor of the Bellvue Hotel as Violet called it sometimes. Swann had a book of Persian miniature paintings that she bought from the Freer Museum in Washington, DC. for her Aunt. Swann had first seen this book opened in 1984. She had hallucinated persian miniature patterns and elements in the corners of her eyes for days after. The 14th century book was finally up for sale this year.
Violet was sitting in an olive green upholstered metal chair in a padded cell that she had requested. Swann was brought to her by an orderly in hospital drag. "Here she is. Violet Bermink. I think you'll find her to be in good shape
Swann knocked on the heavy lead door. Violet opened up the door. Swann made a gesture with her left hand spread out panning the room that ironically implied: what a great little castle you've moved into.
Violet answered this gesture by saying: A sound-proof room is just what I was looking for. The bass coming from the restaurant down the street, I can hear in the middle of the winter, shaking my floor, vibrating my long labia, arousing me against my will. I call it rape music.
Swann : I think that's what they first said about rock and roll.
Violet: Yes? Well I donut know. I would hear the woman downstairs with her long orgasms like clockwork on the last night of the new moon. Or guys outside fighting over stupid things or children playing cruelly. Or people I know walking outside my window surprising me, singing my name, wanting me to entertain them. That's not so bad. Though, a sound proof room is all I ever thought I'd want.You know its so good of you to return, Swann. Far from the world, the world where I write like who ever is talking outside my windows or door. Now nothing gets in or out. I'm not hearing any voices, its the drugs, I am too dry on a landscape of whistling wind, a cliff with black velvet curtain hung like contact lenses over my eyes, but my pistons aren't firing. I am 45 and becoming even more pragmatic by the minute. I had a dream last night of my brother sitting outside in the yard with all of our childhood toys, books, magazines, from comic books to pornography in a pile on the grass, too. He is tossing little stones into a pile of dolls when I realized that there was a live baby there, too. It was horrible! Well that's all folks. I can't say anything else.
Swann hugged her aunt whose eyes were shut and the muscles over her broad cheekbones were tensed as if she was a camera with a broken lens trying not to slip out of focus.
Swann left thinking: She looks ok. Conditions have improved. I guess this is one of the good places to go when you crack up. That place where they gave her shock treatment and heavy sedation was so scary. Damn it! I hope this doesn't last.
A few days later, Swann visited Violet again in a different padded room. Swann noticed there was a small mirror and a small framed painting, that were about the same size but slightly different proportioned rectangles hanging on the wall.
The painting had heavy and small brush marks. There was a maze made of tarnished silver walls with a little face reflected in one spot pictured in the foreground. This maze was like a city in the dark, but above in the sky was clear, resonant, yellow light.
Swann: How are you?
Violet: I am feeling better, seeing colors in the corners of my eyes, Persian miniature patterns, too, from that book you brought me.