An invisible cartoon boy, Martha Lamb thinks, studying Falmouth 36 once more on the 4th floor of the Fal Mouth Moon gallery. Hugged and loved by a visible cartoon girl with red shoes. Perhaps they are future lovers, or perhaps brother and sister. Maybe he has a defect that hides him from view — a malady — but is loved by his sister still. Odd that I think this, she ruminates.
Then over here, further away in a field, the inversion: girl invisible and boy visible. The “E” on the next collage over blinks on and off. This *is* love; mutual exchanging.
If I could just *reach* into the collage… somewhere about… here.
Or is it here?
So close yet so far. How to get from there…
… to here. Swish away the pain into the ice and snow and make it all go away. Football successfully kicked.
“‘Copyright Protected Image’,” she read from the picture in front of her. “And to think I was going to get rid of all this in Collagesity, Sid my dearest. But now I think it is a gateway to the Great Beyond, fries and liquor be damned.”
“You shouldn’t say that about your church,” Sid offered. “You were so devoted to it before.”
She turned to him. “The Diagonal changed me, made me into a true woman. I was like two-dimensional before. *You* changed me.”
“Yeah, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that…”
“All that’s left is the hand and how to break through. Without pain. They say that there’s no gain without pain, but I’m thinking of something else.”
“Yeah, Martha. I need you to listen tonight.”
She went on. “It’s the 36th collage of this series all right. I’ve been studying it nightly for going on half a week now. The Diagonal is giving me energy to understand.”
Sid grabbed her hand in order to stop her. “Listen, Martha. We need to talk. About The Diagonal.” He let go of her hand. “We can’t use it in that way any more.”
“No?” Her voice was suddenly far away, as across a field.
“No,” he said firmly. “I need to tell you the story of who I really am, how I really got here. It all started with the firing.”
“Firing?” Tears formed in her eyes despite her efforts. “What firing?”