In the Library with Norma Jeane, June 1, 2002 by J. J. Steinfeld
Once a week, on Saturday, Josh went to the library in downtown Halifax. It was a ritual of his, which included pausing before the statue of Winston Churchill in front of the library, and telling the immortal statesman that he was going to write a great play.
On an earlier Saturday he had told Churchill that maybe he would make him a character, have his statue able to speak. Oscar Wilde had a speaking statue in The Happy Prince, Josh informed the statue of Churchill.
The Happy Prince, such a magical story, and he had recently seen a play based on that marvellous story he had first read as a boy. He recalled coming home after school that day and telling his mother all about the story, and pointing out that it had a reference to “old Jews” and saying that his grandparents were “old Jews,” weren’t they? The Happy Prince had most profound conversations with a little bird, a swallow, he had told his mother, and his mother patted his head and complimented him on his use of the word profound.
“I will have a huge bird, not a little swallow, land on your magnificent presence, Winston, and you two can discuss world affairs,” Josh continued that afternoon. Oscar had stayed in Halifax, not far from where this library is now. In fact, as Josh confessed to the statue, he had a brief affair with a woman in that very hotel. He turned to see if anyone was watching him standing in front of the statue, having a Saturday afternoon tête-à-tête with the immortal statesman.
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J. J. Steinfeld Fiction writer, poet, and playwright J.J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published seventeen books, including Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), and An Unauthorized Biography of Being (110 Short Fictions Hovering Between the Absurd and the Existential, Ekstasis Editions).