Smoking With Antonios Maltezos

Read the Story March 15, 2006
story art

The contrast between the den’s “stacks of corporate law, bottles of white Porto, and cigars” and that final “lovely figure” creates a wonderful tension in the story. What do you make of this contrast?

I wanted the story to begin with the dad well within his comfort zone, surrounded by his things, and then to have his son act as a catalyst for change, so even the air becomes something else, allowing for the father to be tested.

Is there a kind of “ghost” mother in this story?

If not a ghost mother, then certainly a feminine presence. Could be the dad answers his own question (Where’s your mother?) when he’s finally able to see the “lovely figure of that ghost cello.”

The whitishness—the Porto , cigar smoke, the ghost—mixed in with that “amber tinge” results in an interesting syntactic patterning. Yes? No? Maybe?

You think? It’s interesting how two people could be looking at the same things, yet seeing them differently. The goal, here, was for the father’s “things” to take on a new light in the presence of his son’s pureness.

Did you or do you now play an instrument? (Jeez, I sound like a prosecuting attorney.) What memories/images are attached to the idea of playing music? Ever lock yourself in your room and play the “air cello”? Did you hear about the carpenter quartet who all played the tuba? The Tuba Four.

Gosh, I wish I could play the piano. Truth is, though, I can barely play the spoons. You know, I’ve always wondered about the tuba player in the orchestra, but never about the cellist. Could be the only instrument a carpenter can play is the tuba, what with the calluses and all. I’m a bit of a carpenter myself, did some construction for a long while. My hearing is less than perfect because of all the power tools. If someone were to stand in the wings and cue me whenever it was my turn to phsst! phsst!… maybe I could play the tuba.

You are working on a novel told entirely through flash?! Get out of here. No way. How, my friend, are you going to pull this off? If you do, my already high estimate of your brilliance will shoot all the way to the ends of the universe and back.

Yikes! Sounds like you’re prepared to wager your hat slathered in mustard.

About the Author:

Antonios Maltezos is currently working on a novel, A Train Runs Through Here.