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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Și dacă pînă la urmă n-o să-mi placă așa cum sper de ani de zile că o să, tot o să rămîn cu fragmentul ăsta fain. Îl pun aici ca să nu uit de el.

“Aiken loved to come here and watch the ships go by,” she said. “One afternoon, he saw one with the name Cosmos Mariner painted on the bow. That delighted him. The word ‘cosmos” appears often in his poetry, you know. That evening he went home and looked for mention of the Cosmos Mariner in the shipping news. There it was, in tiny type on the list of ships in port. The name was followed by the comment ‘Destination Unknown.’ That pleased him even more.

“Where is Aiken buried?” I asked. There were no other gravestones in the enclosure.

“Oh, he’s here,” she said. “In fact, we are very much his personal guests at the moment. It was Aiken’s wish that people should come to this beautiful place after he died and drink martinis and watch the ships just as he did. He left a gracious invitation to that effect. He had his gravestone built in the shape of a bench.”

An involuntary reflex propelled me to my feet. Miss Harty laughed, and then she too stood up. Aiken’s name was inscribed on the bench, along with the words COSMOS MARINER, DESTINATION UNKNOWN.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil / John Berendt

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