The Woman stares up at the tower. Once she had lived there. She was rapunzel then, her hair streamed down over the moat and onto the bridge, and all the lovers tried to climb up to her…
You were not repunzel, says the invisible child sternly. You were a middle-aged lady with short hair. Sometimes a man looked up and waved. That’s not rapunzel. That’s not even the wicked witch.
The woman ignores her. I was rapunzel, she repeats. And when I washed my hair, I hung it out the window to dry.
And it landed in the moat and the last few inches got filthy with moat water and grime and carp crap, and you had to wash it again.
It blew over the moat and floated onto the bridge….
Which was full of dirt and peacock shit and you still had to wash it again.
And the young men all wanted to climb up the hair into my window because I was so beautiful.
And their boots were full of mud and bits of leaves and you still….
But the wicked witch wouldn’t let them, and they all fell into the moat and drowned, she says, very loudly now.
And then what? A sigh. Better to stop arguing and get the damn story over.
The wicked witch made everybody go to sleep for a hundred years, and so they did. Except I had insomnia, and stayed awake for many of those years. It was very boring.
Yes,’ agrees the invisible child with another sigh. And then what happened?
Well, eventually we all woke up and went about our lives. But by then the wicked witch had cut my hair all off….
Must have startled the hell out of the carp.
And by then it was all gray anyhow, and no one would have wanted to climb it.
And that’s why you never got married.
Well, it was one of the reasons…