Wonderland

The sounds of America in the 1930’s and ’40’s were nearly drowned out by the din of footsteps.  Of running, of a mad escape from a quaking society and economy, from a fear in Europe that was supposedly ground into the earth in 1919.

People ran in the 1930’s:   from the miasma of the Depression that wrapped around and suffocated the good lives that they had struggled for and for which they traveled from foreign slums to the processing plant of Ellis Island. They ran in the 1940’s:  from war, from death lists, from the bloody desecrations they thought had ended with the war that had promised to end all wars.

People needed to escape.  They wanted to hide beneath the comforting shadow cast by the home front.  They needed entertainment – entertainment that was brash, garish, unsubtle.  They wanted to bask in the exotic and exciting, without being troubled by historical accuracy or possible cultural misrepresentation. They wanted to see things they could not hope to see in their frightened lives.

So it was no surprise that these decades witnessed the birth of the dance/supper club.  No more hidden 1920’s pillboxes, folding up and relocating like an army barracks after the most recent police raid – these clubs were lush and madcap, catering to the whims of a saddened population.

These havens were often built around a theme:  New Orleans, San Francisco, The Orient, The Islands.  There was one in particular:  “The 7 Seas” – located on 6904 Hollywood Blvd.  It opened the mid 1930’s, under the ownership of Ray Haller, as a ‘tiki’ bar:  decorated with native portraits, breathless tropical plants, lava rocks; with walls layered in coconut matting and fish netting and Polynesian floor shows led by Sam Koki and his band.

7seas

There was a hula comic.  A Polynesian knife dancer (who also performed the Samoan Slap Dance:  an ‘island’ theme could be very convenient).  Drinks prepared by bartenders stolen from Don The Beachcomber.  But most famously, was its ‘rain on the roof':  a nightly tropical rainstorm – created by sprinklers and a recording of a thunderstorm – which dappled the corrugated tin roofs that sheltered the extensive bar.

7 seas

But time did pass – and cruelly so.  In the ‘50’s, young adults listened to their music in more crowded, less creative venues.  Cocktails were no longer de rigueur.  Older – though not by much – adults married.  Had children.  Created a booming generation.  Clubs like the 7 Seas were forgotten; and through the 1970’s crumbled and decayed, their decorations and trinkets crushed into the sidewalks.

However, during the following decade there was a resurgence of dance clubs.  Very few of them were pretty, or deluxe; there were no themes – save for those drawn from the music that was played, and from what the dancers wore.  At the 7 Seas, from the early to mid-‘80’s, I was one of those dancers.

I remember it very well – a great drafty room, surrounded by a ring of tables occupied by a crowd of hopefuls in the dark, eyeing the dance floor with feline curiosity.  We were dressed in our vintage best:  attractively seedy.  I recall one night I wore black leggings, black pointy boots, a black turtleneck and a black-trimmed gold lame men’s smoking jacket.  A boy much younger than I asked me to dance, and when I recounted this vignette to my friends, they breathlessly asked me what happened next.  And I was bound to say that nothing did.

I went to the 7 Seas to dance.  To dance until muscles and bones ached; to come home with smoke-stained hair.  I loved that ugly, dubious place.

For dubious it was.  I did not know that at the time it was referred to as the ‘7 Sleaze’.  Then, around 1984, it was closed down, because – rumor said – of drug dealings in the parking lot.  I didn’t believe this:  certainly the people loitering in the back were rather skeevy, but this accusation seemed rather unfair.  I didn’t even get to use my free pass, which I still keep in my wallet:

IMG_20141007_0001

Recently I read what had happened while I was dancing.

On July 1, 1981 the Wonderland Murders, or the Four on the Floor Murders (for that’s how many bodies were found, and where they were found), were committed.  The details were grotesque and depressing.  It began with a robbery perpetrated by porn star John Holmes to settle a debt to Ron Launius, cocaine kingpin of the Wonderland Gang.  He invaded the home of Eddie Nash – the owner of the 7 Seas.  Two days later Launius and 3 members of his gang were found bludgeoned to death in their home, at 8763 Wonderland Avenue in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles.  Nash had intended to have Holmes killed as well, but decided to spare him, to teach him a lesson by allegedly forcing him to partake in the murders.  Officers from the LAPD remarked that the scene was bloodier than that of the Tate-LaBianca murders.  Holmes and Nash were tried and acquitted in 1982 by a hung jury, 11-1.  Nash supposedly bribed that one juror with $50,000.

The 7 Seas, where all I wanted to do was dance, was owned and run by a criminal.  The club that began as a wonderland would end with The Wonderland.

Theda Bara

The twilight came

Shuttering like an eyelid

Cobalt and kohl stained

Theda Bara stretched across the sky

 

Her golden cobras

Spat and curled into the sunset

Her venomous hair crawling

Her dark vanity and vampire perfume

 

Sparking through her curls

Stars pierced her dangerous skin

Blood dripping towards the sun

And bubbling like a witches’ brew

 

Then the moon came

To scold her wayward minions

For making her rise

To defend a fellow goddess in pain

theda

 

Stand and Deliver

The 17th century always had the appearance of a ripe old bawd:  good-natured, boisterous, and with a penchant for a pretty rogue.  Overflowing the stays of the 16th century, and with no interest for the baroque frippery of the century that would follow, the 1600’s were born out of taverns and plague, plots and intrigues, typhoid and flowers.

It was a lively time; one that welcomed audacity that was tempered with grace – a type of messy elegance that was not out of place on a muddy road, balancing instruments of persuasion, bullets primed.

It was the time of the highwayman.

These ‘gentlemen of the road’ were common to all centuries, but they seemed to thrive with a guilty panache during this one.  And as the 17th century seemed to possess a special bravura, it saw the blooming of a special kind of flower, ragged yet fragrant:  the highwaywoman.

There was the shoemaker’s daughter, Mary Frith:  ‘The Roaring Girl’, branded four times for thievery, escaping the gallows by the fortuitous means of a 2,000 pound bribe.  In her supposed ‘Confession’ she stated:  “I held very good Correspondence now also with those Grandees of this function of Thievery”.
Mollcutpurse

Joan Phillips, respectable, beautiful and “…eminent for picking of pockets and shoplifting at all country fairs and great markets…”  Hung in 1685, her body was gibbeted:   left to rot in a cage to serve as a deterrent to all would-be miscreants, as well as making sure that it could not be removed for proper burial by her friends.

The ‘Wicked Lady’, Lady Katherine Ferrers, was an aristocrat and an heiress – her portrait shows a face framed with curls and pearls and  a smile that was both dangerous and discreet .  Married at 14, she took to the road in her husband’s absence – whether out of boredom or in order to build up her stumbling fortunes it has never been said.  A whimsical combination of the two situations would be the best guess.  Legend has it that she was shot during a robbery and later died of her wounds.  She was 26 years old.

Katherine_Ferrers

Now, there is a ballad from around this time – known as “Sovay” or “Sylvia” or “Sylvie” – that tells a very pretty story.

It is about a young woman, about to be married, who is determined to test the loyalty of her fiancé.  She comes upon an idea, one that is typically robust, born from the earthy and daring mindset of the 1600’s.

Her lover, who has been away, is traveling back into town – she knows when, which coach he will be taking, down which rutted path it will be traveling.  The clever lady has decided to dress as a highwayman and waylay this vehicle, shivering with harness and brass traces protesting, and demand all goods that are held inside.

Should her young man willingly give up all his possessions, including his engagement ring, she would shoot him dead.

It is easy to imagine her standing thus:  the sweeping velvet hat, feathers curling to her shoulders, a dark cape reaching to her chin, heavy boots obscuring the feminine sweep of calf and thigh.  Brazen lace cuffs cowered in the breeze that raced unimpeded across the flat coaching road, obscuring hands that fingered two flintlock pistols.  It is easy to hear the clear, brave voice state the iconic demand, both romantic and criminal:  “Stand and deliver!”

Her lover did not.  And they lived happily ever after.

“I did intend and it was to know
If that you were me true love or no
For if you’d have give me that ring she said
I’d have pulled the trigger I’d have pulled the trigger and shot you dead.”

Stand and Deliver

The 17th century always seemed like a ripe old bawd:  loud, boisterous and with a penchant for a pretty rogue.  Overflowing the busks of the 16th century, and with no interest for the baroque frippery of the century that would follow, the 1600’s were born out of taverns and plague, plots and intrigues, typhoid and flowers.

It was a lively time; one that welcomed audacity that was tempered with grace – a type of messy elegance that was not out of place on a muddy road, balancing instruments of persuasion, bullets primed.

It was the time of the highwayman.

These ‘gentlemen of the road’ were common to all centuries, but they seemed to thrive with a guilty panache during this one.  And as the 17th century seemed to possess a special bravura, it saw the blooming of a special kind of flower, ragged yet fragrant:  the highwaywoman.

There was the shoemaker’s daughter, Mary Frith:  ‘The Roaring Girl’, branded four times for thievery, escaping the gallows by the fortuitous means of a 2,000 pound bribe.  In her supposed ‘Confession’ she stated:  “I held very good Correspondence now also with those Grandees of this function of Thievery”.

Mollcutpurse

Joan Phillips, respectable, beautiful and “…eminent for picking of pockets and shoplifting at all country fairs and great markets…”  Hung in 1685, her body was gibbeted:   left to rot in a cage to serve as a deterrent to all would-be miscreants, as well making sure that it could not be removed for proper burial by her friends.

The ‘Wicked Lady’, Lady Katherine Ferrers, was an aristocrat and an heiress – her portrait shows a face framed with curls and pearls and a smile that is both dangerous and discreet.  Married at 14, she took to the road in her husband’s absence – whether out of boredom or in order to build up her stumbling fortunes it has never been said.  A whimsical combination of the two situations would be the best guess.  Legend has it that she was shot during a robbery and later died of her wounds:  she was 26 years old.

Katherine_Ferrers

Now, there is a ballad from around this time – known as “Sovay” or “Sylvia” or “Sylvie” –  that tells a very pretty story.

It is about a young woman, about to be married, who is determined to test the loyalty of her fiancé.  She comes upon an idea, a typically lively one, born from the earthy and daring mindset of the 1600’s. 

Her lover, who has been away, is traveling back into town – she knows when, which coach he will be taking, down which rutted path it will be traveling.  The clever lady has decided to dress as a highwayman and waylay this vehicle, shivering with harness and brass traces protesting, and demand all goods that were held inside.

Should her young man willingly give up all his valuables, including his engagement ring, she would shoot him dead.

It is easy to imagine her standing thus:  the sweeping velvet hat, feathers curling to her shoulders, a dark cape reaching to her chin, heavy boots obscuring the feminine sweep of calf and thigh.  Brazen lace cuffs cowered in the breeze that raced unimpeded across the flat coaching road, obscuring hands that fingered two flintlock pistols.  It is easy to hear the clear, brave voice state the demand, both romantic and criminal:  “Stand and deliver!”

Her lover did not.  And they lived happily ever after.

“I did intend and it was to know

If that you were me true love or no

For if you’d have give me that ring she said

I’d have pulled the trigger I’d have pulled the trigger and shot you dead.”

“Imperfect Animal”

Her face curved with a creamy allure. Cheeks were pinched into a shocked rose, the blood rising towards a blushing palettte. There was a delicate valley beneath her full and coral-stained lips. It was dangerous, exotic country.

A galaxy of pearls sparkled throughout her hair in starry glamour. They hung from her ears and were wrapped around her neck in a tight, luminous collar. She wears a hat the color of early twilight that rides like a ship, tilting and brave with silk and feathers.

She is dressed in the style of the maja, a woman from the lower class of Spanish society whose exagerated style was equally charming and saucy. Her peasant silhouette is rich and exuberant, with ribbons cutting into her plump arms in tight bows. She plucks from her bouquet a flower the color of her lush skin; a garland she might have found during her rustic, luxuriant travels.

ana-de-mendoza-y-de-la-2

Earthy yet elegant, Ana de Mendoza, Princess of Eboli, Duchess of Pastrana had the look of slow, seductive femininity. Her jungle poise was cat-like, with muscles that rolled like velvet. And her beauty was not marred, but rather accentuated, by a small, glossy square which covered one of her eyes. One eye was hooded by a heavy, languorous eyelid, but the other was covered in a silken shadow.

La_princesa_de_Éboli

Stories vary as to how the Princess became came to be afflicted with this rakish flaw. Some say that she lost her eye in a mock duel with a page when young. But others say that the patch hid a squinting or wandering eye: a defect just as damning as an eye pierced by an overzealous opponent’s foil.

This pretty girl, this well-formed and dainty aristocrat, was a marriageable pawn, and any damage had to be covered with as much wit as possible. She was married in 1553 at the age of thirteen, on the recommendation of Philip, Duke of Milan – whom would be crowned King of Spain the very next year. Her husband, Ruy Gómez de Silva, had been page to the young Philip and rarely strayed from his black-clad, tightly ruffed master. He became a diplomat, and eventually was made a Grandee of Spain.

Because of his duties in England and the Netherlands – possibly brokering Philip’s unpopular union with Mary I – the Eboli marriage was not consummated until Ruy returned to Spain in 1558. Ana would endure 15 years of childbearing, bearing 10 children from 1558 to 1573.

Ana spent most of her married life at court, living in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid: Philip’s remodeling of the doughty Muslim fortress into a sparkling Renaissance aerie. It was there that she capered like a shadow, a pretty sprite that sparkled in cloth of gold and slippers embroidered in silks the color of gardens and forests.

After her husband died in 1573, Ana deserted her bright home, retiring to a Carmelite convent under the name of Sister Ana de la Madre de Dios. But the king was determined that she return to take charge of her children and the family estates.
At about this time, in 1576, Ana’s life once more became a reflection of her manic spirit and blithe intelligence. There was political intrigue – irresistible to her restless nature. There was romantic intrigue – with Antonio Perez, the royal secretary and possibly with Philip II himself. It was her relationship with Perez which led to her eventual imprisonment.

Under orders of Philip II Perez kept watch over the wayward royal half-brother, Don Juan of Austria. He employed Juan de Escobedo – a politician with a taste for deception – as his spy. It is also possible that during this time, around 1578, Antonio and Ana became entangled in secret negotiations with Protestant rebels in Flanders and the anarchic arguments over the Portuguese succession. Escobedo would have known about their conspiracies, and when he fell in with the mettlesome half-brother, Escobedo became a dangerous inconvenience.

Perez seized reports and documents, doctored them until they became indictments, leaving the king with no choice but to recommend the death of Escobedo. He left no further instructions. Perez recruited swordsmen for the assassination, turning away from the subsequent, fatal act.

A death in secrecy; the general murkiness of Perez’ motives; gossip and suspicion led to the arrest of Antonio Perez and the Princess in 1579. Perez escaped prison numerous times; ending his days in England, trying to make a rogue’s living by selling state secrets to Elizabeth I.

Ana spent the rest of her life under house arrest in her place in Pastrana, until her death in 1592. Legend has it that she was allowed to stay in the Palacio Ducal for an hour each day, where she could gaze, with eloquence and resentment, from its single window onto the town square which came to be known as La Plaza de la Hora (“the square of the hour”).

Like all women of dangerous talents, Ana de Mendoza was described with hostility as well as admiration. Antonio Perez referred to her as a “Cyclops”, but Don Juan – possibly out of disgust, possibly out of regret at such a wild perfection spoiled, called her an “imperfect animal”.

Foolishness and Silliness

Ever since WordPress had been foolish enough to make a citrus fruit out of one of my posts and feature it on their “Freshly Pressed” page a year or so ago, I have been inundated with followers.  And for the most part they have been a motley crew.  However, amongst the tech companies, exterminators, travel agencies, Australian mattress stores (true) and people with MORE THAN FOUR NUMBERS IN THEIR WP name, there have been some people of worth, and whom I have been glad to have made acquaintance.

One, however was not so much a blogger – though he was – but an online publication, “Calamities Press”.  I read it through, was impressed, and in a gust of silliness submitted three poems.  Not only were they accepted, but I was offered the chance to be one of their poetry contributors.  So I took it. 

Read my column here (and remember, though I don’t like to admit it, my name is not really Aubrey).

The Web

It was as bright as diamante.  Its silken anchors wrapped around a horizon of leaves; and though its expanse was only a few inches it sparkled in the dark like a galaxy.

006 (3)

Heavy with prisms, magnified within each trembling star a forest pressed against its curving, liquid facets.  Across the knitted veil these baubles were scattered, each containing a panorama multiplied far beyond its original, tiny landscape.

006 (3)

Hidden in the fragrant shadows, its creator waited, admiring her handiwork through her multiple eyes.  Her kaleidoscope vision took in the huntsman’s swath of webbing which a gracious morning had turned into an expanse of crystal droplets.  It was a dazzling and deadly expanse; a countryside woven for capture, even as it had captured the water squeezed out of the cool air.

It was a dainty veil pulled from Nature’s hair, a pretty thing much at variance from the tiny monster that was its architect.  The glistening jewels woven into the silk were useless to the huntress.  Yet they astonished the legions of tiny flying things that lived there.  And in their dumbfounded ignorance they flew blithely into the clinging constellation.

Jacaranda

Like a lavender propeller

As capricous as a feather

As focused as a stone

It fell in a dismal spin

Into gravity’s hypnotic embrace

 

From a canopy that spread like a garnet cloud

A feminine twilight

In filigree flight

Flagrant and fragrant

It was detached, still in its summer youth

 

And I watched the tiny, delicate descent

A silent and subtle thing

Blossom before the tree

Child before the parent

In gentle acquiescence

Resting beyond my troubled hands

jacaranda

The Unknown

They are a ghostly population.  They have no identity, no heritage, no family.  Nameless and winsome, they stare from rooms or gardens bound with sculpted wood.  Their eyes reflect the artist’s gaze, their own secrets and the fey knowledge of a story that has not yet been told.

Their names and titles might have once been written on the canvas, by a brush that was bound with only a few silken hairs.  Shields quartered into patterns and designs that spoke an ancient heraldic language might have hung in a corner.  Allegories painted along hillsides, played like a surreal fete galante.  Battles tucked into the background, violent and silent.

Unknown Man, style of Jacob Huysmans, 1717

Unknown Man, style of Jacob Huysmans, 1717

These things would have given a coy hint as to the subject’s identity or accomplishments.  But often the stories lie buried under centuries of varnish the color and consistency of syrup.

But there could be other promptings too:  armor lying discarded like unsuccessful letters at a warrior’s feet, a bower of curving vines, architecture rising from pastel mists,

Unknown Man, by Isaac Oliver, 1595

Unknown Man, by Isaac Oliver, 1595

and once – tantalizingly – a metaphor of flame rising like a wall behind a dark-eyed, ardent courtier.

Unknown Man Standing Before A Wall Of Fire, by Nicholas Hilliard, 1590's

Unknown Man Standing Before A Wall Of Fire, by Nicholas Hilliard, 1590’s

And yet they try to communicate with us, to escape their silent anonymity and reach beyond the two dimensions of their unsatisfactory worlds.  As a shadow is never black but actually full of color a portrait is never a complete enigma, for it possesses a bounty of allusions.

The portrait was the haven of the aristocracy.  Jewels, glittering ornaments that reflected light long since extinguished were eloquent centerpieces that spoke of the wearer’s affluence.

Unknown Lady In A Plumed Headdress, unknown artist, 1633

Unknown Lady In A Plumed Headdress, unknown artist, 1633

They wrapped around throats, dangled from waists and hung from ears like luminous satellites that had been captured and contained.  Pearls were especially costly, but the wealthy wore them in thick ropes, were harnessed in capelets planted with seed pearls and wore them nestled in gardens of metallic lace.  One would think the oysters happily scattered their nacreous offspring into the waiting hands of jewelers before accepting the grain of sand that would start the painful, nurturing process all over again.

Unknown Woman, by Cornelius Johnson, 1636

Unknown Woman, by Cornelius Johnson, 1636

This lavish, uncomfortable dress made a mockery of the body’s natural silhouette…only the lower classes dressed for comfort, allowing them to accomplish their ugly tasks quickly and efficiently.  The aristocracy dressed for its lovely agony, with only their hands allowed freedom of motion – to finger a pair of perfumed gloves or to let a chain flow like a flaxen rivulet.

Unknown Woman, by unknown artist, 1570

Unknown Woman, by unknown artist, 1570

But if dress did not indicate a class, it could signify a calling, such as a bright rose tucked inside of an unlaced bodice:

Unknown Woman With A Rose, by Dmitry Levitzky, 1788

Unknown Woman With A Rose, by Dmitry Levitzky, 1788

Or the déshabillé costume of a shepherdess, a dimpled arm draped about the neck of a member of her flock:

Unknown Woman, studio of Sir Peter Lely, circa 1675

Unknown Woman, studio of Sir Peter Lely, circa 1675

Sometimes gems would be cradled in a sitter’s hand, as if to draw the viewer’s attention to it.

Unknown Lady with a rose and a jewel-encrusted diadem, in the manner of Gerrit von Honthorst, 18th c.

Unknown Lady with a rose and a jewel-encrusted diadem, in the manner of Gerrit von Honthorst, 18th c.

Engraved within the yielding, opaque facet, as if it was a tiny canvas,  would be portraits, symbols or stories from myth or religion.  Pelicans, hares, dogs, cats all spoke in zoological code.  Intaglios and cameos of Minerva, Apollo, Zeus and Venus boldly claimed a relationship to the wearer.  Images of the Virgin and Child, stories of saints and martyrs were carved on stones which the owner wore proudly as if they were vindicated from their profane sumptuousness.

Portrait of an Unknow Man Holding A Medallion, by Sandro Botticelli, 1480's

Portrait of an unknown Man Holding A Medallion, by Sandro Botticelli, 1480’s

 

Unknown Woman, in the style of Holbein, 1540-1560

Unknown Woman, in the style of Holbein, 1540-1560

Occasionally, however, it is not the scenery – not the allegory or battle kindling in the distance, or even the clothes thick with decoration and parable that is the viewer’s most trustworthy confidante.  Sometimes the secrets are kept – and revealed – in the expression.  It is up to the wit of the artist to portray those mysteries – in the dark eyes as lowering and perilous as an oncoming storm,

Unknown Woman, by Ivan Kramskoi, 1883

Unknown Woman, by Ivan Kramskoi, 1883

in a face dimpled with barely concealed mirth,

Unknown Woman (the 'Turkish Slave') by Parmigianino early 1530's

Unknown Woman (the ‘Turkish Slave’) by Parmigianino early 1530’s

or in one overcome with a devouring melancholy.

Unknown Man, by Moretto da Brescia, 1542

Unknown Man, by Moretto da Brescia, 1542

These extraordinary people had decided to have their emotions preserved for eternity, rather than the proofs of a successful life well spent.  They mock us, they share joy with us, they seek our sympathy:  but most of all they communicate.

The art world, in a fit of pique, has given this impenetrable society its own surname:  ‘unknown’.  Experts, teachers, scholars have thrown up their hands in frustration; cancelling all research, they have instead christened each resident with the title that symbolized their investigative failure.

But there are those who have the leisure to wonder.  They look deeply; they retrieve meaning from the depths, a fish that shows twisting and luminous as it is drawn to the surface.  They are attracted to the humanity of the portrait, the philosopher’s stone of artistic endeavor.   They are not content to abandon a face pining for recognition.  And most of all they remain tempted by the lure of the unknown.

The League of Extraordinary Ladies

I am fortunate in that many people follow this sorry blog.  However, at the same time it is true that several of these followers are IT Companies, Bedbug Exterminators, Travel Agencies, etc.  I would dearly love to boot them out of my neighborhood, but it seems that I am unable to, and for that let me thank WordPress for standing by me.

But I digress.

Many followers are quite extraordinary – actually daring to not only be extremely, even Agressively talented, but to be successful with that talent as well. A truly extraordinary league. Two of them – hailing from my old Vox stomping grounds – are published authors.  One has published a novel, a mix of snowboarding, coffee, paranoia and the internet (a recipe that can only be cooked up in the fearful 2000’s).

The other has brought to un unsuspecting public a story of mythology, reality and naughtiness – OK, in her words, smut – and has future plans for icons of American history and legend…all equally unsuspecting, I assure you.

I must admit that even I have done my best to join this league, as well.

But I have fairly recently met someone who has also been published.  And for that I will seriously thank WordPress.  Her book reads like “The Jet Set” episode of Mad Men, when Don finds himself immersed in the desert, in a world of modern glass, pools and morals, peopled by lovely, languid denizens whose talents lie in false conversation and relaltionships.  Yes, the book is about Hollywood.

The story is cynical, with varying scruples carrried in each character’s pocket for all to see and steal.  There are innocents, there are the guilty, and most interestingly there are those that try to stay innocent or to hide their guilt.

And to finish, let me just say that I had not read 10 pages before I came across this line of dialogue:

“Could you be angling to be my muse, Mr. Nelson?”

Muse-status just isn’t being discussed enough nowadays.

lady writing