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A TRANSIENT STORY

Rosanna Albertini‘s fictional remake of FRANK MASI’s Personal Record of his Mother

 

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Frank Masi, non se·qui·tur, 2012

A transient story doesn’t last. Like happiness. The record of his mother, Frank’s mother, is made with echoes of her presence between Milwaukee Wisconsin and Los Angeles, in her son’s house. Her name would be too heavy. It doesn’t appear. Places lead the way, “the true core of the universal.”*

Frank looks at her through the large window of her room. She sits at the table watching tennis on TV and playing solitaire all at once. Her back is the only part of her body facing the outside; misleading stillness; her mind is at work, she has to finish before, like the letters she used to write by hand in good calligraphy for her employers. She married one of them, that time it was the good one, not like her son’s father. Maybe to play tennis to meet boys was not such a good idea. To be a secretary is good, after World War II at the top of expectancies of mothers and grandmothers. Frank used to splash in the water of gutters and play war with a big potato squeezer, where was I? Yes, we moved to a beautiful place. Thank god that man invented the way to fix the lead on the milk bottles, and other things. A beautiful place in Milwaukee, with many trees. Father used to walk every day by the railroad tracks to go to work and back, to come home. She is sometimes she, other times the first person, as if measuring the distance between the woman she is and images of the past that are figments rather than memories. They change every time she recalls them. Frank set up the tripod. For no specific reason he chose the out of focus, pointed at the window. They probably have never been so close, neither of them knew it.

At the beginning of 2011, Frank unpacks boxes and boxes of her objects: old kitchen stuff, Midwest Mercedes Benz trophies, photographs, albums. A crumpled piece of paper from one of the boxes calls for his attention, for no reason. Frank puts it on the couch, and clicks.

*William Carlos Williams

Frank Masi, Untitled, 2012

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