Thomas Cooper Gotch ‘The Lantern Parade’, 1910, oil on canvas

Keep Art Alive :: “The Lantern Parade” :: Art by Thomas Cooper Gotch

All your life you dreamed a dream,
somehow connected with the silver screen,
with half closed eyes you realize,
it’s love in the life that is paradise,
in a technicolor fade.”

Jack stood underneath the second story balcony feeling all too Shakespeare for his own comfort, yet he persisted to stay there, shifting his weight from foot to foot, tossing up smooth pebbles aimed at her window. Rae was no Juliet, and oh, how she would scoff at the notion, but he was there, nonetheless, calling to her in the night with each plinking sound of stone on glass. It was the only night to see them, though, the strange children with their surreal glowing torches, marching through what passes for a downtown in this nowhere desert town. Laney had told him that they were from the church down the road, the one surrounded by cacti and barbed wire.

There were stories, sure, of what they got up to there, of who wound up there, of how no one ever seemed to leave; Laney had told him most of them, the God-given rite of any older sibling, to pass along legends, real and imagined. Rae had laughed when Jack had told her about them, the light up children in flowing dresses, and their strange midnight parade. She was new to the desert, a product of a messy divorce and one too many runaway attempts. She lived with her Aunt and Uncle now, her Aunt Jo, a gypsy woman who sold pottery and plastic snow globes out front of the off-ramp gas station, and Uncle Joe who was deaf in one ear and owned said gas station (yes, Aunt Jo and Uncle Joe, it happens, Rae would say, her eyes rolling up to the heavens).

Jack dreamed of Rae some nights, of coming to steal her away, of convincing her to try one last escape together, with him.

But, tonight wasn’t about that. It was about the ghost children’s ramshackle parade, and how Jack just needed her to see that some stories were real, after all.

Ramshackle Day Parade :: Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros

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