04/16/21 Snippet, Le Roi Est Mort.

This really needed more expansion.


How marvelous is San Francisco, even as it mourns! How glorious is the Imperial City, in its exquisite grief! You travel from cable-car to cable-car, drawing ever nearer to the Ferry Building and your final destination, and all about you the city weeps. Not the scouring lamentation of the Friscosa – that is for later — but the air smells dizzyingly of salt, as if San Francisco itself shed gentle tears at the loss of the beloved Golden Emperor. The love of him for this wondrous place, and its love of him, is the subject of many a poem or dance-hall song. You hum a few as the cable-cars clank about.

There is a sudden tang in the salt-air; a taste of copper and iron on the breeze, as if a nearby mourner has decided that mere tears are not worthy enough to bear the sorrow of this day. You sniff and look about, but see nothing. And soon you smell nothing, either. You tell yourself that the mind can produce many vivid illusions in time of strain, and this day is certainly a time of strain. The thought reassures you, in its way. For if that tang is a sign of sacrifice; is it a sacrifice that you could make of yourself? You love the memory of the Golden Emperor — but do you love it that much?