want her 'baby pictures,' Nana asks herself? Does a photographic record of her
indeed exist? O’Rourke may have quoted a document, not looked at tangible images.
Chances were, however, he had managed to unearth both. By contrast, Nana’s
information on her origins has been mostly speculative. The evidence she has found
(online primarily) is sketchy and indirect. Suddenly she envies him who
eyeballed actual artifacts that attest to her nativity—such as it had been, born
of some unfortunate creature’s trauma, her womb criminally commandeered. Yet Alexandra
Albright’s role is of passing interest only. What Nana yearns to
know is from whom she had been bred. Or spawned? Or cloned? Did she have
a mother and a father, or parentage less conventional? Answers
ultimately lay with Stuyvesant Fink, her alleged progenitor—him who she is less
than shocked to learn was a
bifurcated sculpture, once she is back in front of it, confirms her weird clairvoyance. How could she have known, projected onto her work
its subject's double
nature? Still, the features left and right, resist her efforts to render them
identical, this despite her using one as a prototype for realizing the other; neither face
is based on anything verifiable. Why had Dad O’Rourke omitted their prime suspect’s portrait?
yearbook picture, an identity card, a driver’s license, a passport; had nothing come to light? Surely someone somewhere could
produce a rough facsimile, an accurate facsimile; no one, even a quarter
century ago, escaped surveillance; cameras were ubiquitous—at airports, shopping
malls, campuses, inside
hospitals (especially those with experimental labs).
with impatience since she hired the private investigator, Nana wants to see concrete
results. Including, she admits, depictions of her 'anomaly'—curious as to how it
looked at birth.
The Prince Himself addresses (in Arabic) His truant ward.
turns to embrace Him with her forearms, careful not to besmirch His immaculate
white burnoose, pressing her flimsy smock against His midriff, V of flesh
exposed, hem round back (in response to the Prince's hug) hiked up
inadvertently, derrière denuded—testifying to the Rule of Ready Access Royal
Paramours must observe (willingly; malcontents are free to take their leave).
“Did I miss Your summons?’
It is more fun to hunt you down. This, my nonpareil, is a most
Releasing her, the Prince refers to Nana’s sculpture,
circumnavigating the platform to admire from several angles, moving closer, then
farther to absorb the work’s effect.
"Like Prometheus unbound, or testing his chains
at least, pulling out of himself to escape Zeus’s punishment? Or..."
He considers the work with a grin.
"... a plasticene salute to
Eng and Chang?"
pulls a face.
not mock me so; I have only just begun. Who are Chang and Eng?"
"Appropriate, your inverting their names, for the two
interchangeable, Chang and Eng being archetypes for the term Siamese twins."
that case, I will accept your comment as a compliment."
still impressed by what she regards as precognition with respect to her
foretelling Stuyvesant’s twofold character, welcomes any input that
corroborates said duality.
Prince, his nose to the nose face-left, inspects what little of the visage has
thus far been portrayed; no one at the Palace is brought to mind.
beside face-right, leans to place her cheek against the oil clay.
Prince, head cocked askew, compares them at a glance.
trace of resemblance."
purposely cryptic, responds.
langur bounds onto an overhead skylight, peering in and down at the studio’s
sole occupants, entranced, it would appear, by antics underway: