“I’ve been thinking,” her wife said, setting down her coffee. She wanted to quip back “that’s when the trouble starts”, but she respected that her love was the artist, she was the woman of sciences and sometimes even when you’re both women, marriage can require the metaphoric straight-man. She simply asked, “uh-huh?”
“You remember the old literary mash-up fad? They’d take a classic or some historical figure and blend it with a horror trope?” She was afraid where this was going but would play along. “You mean like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?” “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Old Man and the Sea Monster, right…” She nodded slowly.
“I’m thinking the next play will be…” she made an arc in the air with her left hand “The Diary of Anne Frankenstein.” “Oh God!” her wife of two years sighed, clearly having not braced herself enough. “After Anne’s taken, her brain’s put in the monster, thinking a little girl easily controlled but she goes on a rampage of Nazi-killing before wandering off into the Arctic wastes to wait for when she’s needed again.” She was so rapt with her own cleverness that she hadn’t registered the revulsion across the table, of course.
“Babe, they’ll crucify you for it.” Her wife was incredulous. “It won’t be pro-Nazi, it’ll be about punching Nazis! Anne Frank punching Nazis!” “They won’t think that through…” “How could I be pro-Nazi, my pop goes to Reform Temple, I’m married to a…”
She put a finger to her agitated lips. “They don’t know you, they’ll just see The Diary of Anne Frankenstein on the Proctors marquee and assume.” “No, they…” “Yes, they will. This isn’t Brooklyn, this isn’t even Austin, this is Schenectady. Even if they knew, they’d still see it as disrespectful no matter the intentions. It’s clever but they’ll only see the cultural insensitivity and they’ll rip your pretty little ass to shreds.”
“Hnnnh,” she grunted the soft grunt she’d often grunt when her more-pragmatic partner had a point. She took a long sip again and then finally said “How about,” she made an arc in the sky again, “Benjamin Franklinstein?”
Here was her chance to encourage something less destructive, if just as silly. “Sure, there you go, they both have a thing with lightning and all.” And as deflated as she had been she was suddenly animated again “And he could preach axioms in Frankenspeak: EARLY BIRD EAT! STITCH SAVE FUTURE STITCHES! PENNY SAVED GOOD!” “I’ll put on more coffee,” she smiled hoping she was finally off the scent, “you’ve work to do.”
If only Frankenstein had a level-headed partner, she mused, to coax him out of his terrible ideas, maybe he never would’ve had to be run off by a mob at all. Her wife hadn’t been chased back to New York City with torches yet, but she knew she’ll be the only reason if that never happens.
“Still,” an artist always has to get in the last word, “you admit that it’s clever.”
Last updated March 30, 2019