Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cool Tattoo Et Le Petit Prince

A mystical-looking image on a pretty girl at the market. The Etz Chaim, the Tree of Life -- or possibly it's Yggdrasil, the World Tree? But with those lower branches spread like arms the tree looks curiously anthropomorphic. I think it's a Mandrake Tree.

Which reminds me of something that happened years ago. I was at the Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. (it's no longer there -- the store I mean, not the boulevard), standing in line to pay for my purchase. The young woman in front of me was wearing a tank top, and I recognized the tattoo on her back as the last illustration from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, the one that shows a lone star shining above an empty desert.

I said, to the back of her head, "That, to me, is the saddest and the most beautiful landscape in the world", nearly-quoting the memorable first line from the last page of the fable.

She turned and looked at me with surprise on her face, obviously delighted to have run into a kindred spirit, and said "Yes, but to me the stars are laughing" -- not quoting so much as encapsulating another passage

Thus we began a whole little discussion about The Little Prince and Saint-Exupéry, feeling so cool and literate (well, I was -- don't know about her; for all I knew, she spent her evenings engaging writers in highfalutin' discussions in chic, slightly-shabby cafés frequented by unpublished professional poets). I was actually beginning to think: Hey, we've maybe got something going here... Then she asked what CD I was buying. I showed her my Luscious Jackson album with the sticker stating "Includes the hit, 'Naked Eye'". She wasn't impressed.