She stared at the vast room of heads.   Antelope.  Deer.  Tigers.  Elk.  There was even an elephant’s foot, chopped right at the stump, cured or taxidermied or whatever, and then made into an end table.

She was repelled and intoxicated at the same time.  This man was made of the kind of fortune handed down, not earned.  And he seized his day in the only way men of that kind of birth-wealth know how to do it.   By covering his walls in trophies.  Bold statements about traveling the world and facing danger, and lame attempts at claims of great human triumph, like, “I wanted to see the rainforest before I died.  And by God, I’ve done it!”

The fact that he was conquering instead of paying homage seemed to be an irony lost on him.

Why couldn’t he claim worldliness and acculturation by bringing home some original Chagalls or a piece of the Great Wall?

She walked into his guest bathroom, which smelled of hotel disinfectant, and admired the floral arrangement that would’ve been too large to fit in her living room.  She leaned over to smell them and was stunned (but, really, should she have been?) that they were made of plastic.  Uncanny looking.  They even had fiberglass dewdrops on them.  Someone out there was actually the artisan of these fake flowers.   What a strange thing to claim as your medium.

“I work in oils.”

“I dabble in clay.”

“I make fake nature.”

And all she could think was how backward this man, with one of the wealthiest wine collections in the world, had gotten it.

She shook her head and muttered to herself:

“Dude, FAKE heads, REAL flowers.  Not the other way around.”



Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.