Thursday, November 15, 2012
Okay an Updated Florence Conway
I woke that morning to the sound of my maid, Anna. The year, 1845. I wanted to start my day of wonder, after all this was the most amazing era to be alive. I walked to my closet. I insisted on dressing myself except for my corset. For that I needed Anna. I called for Anna, she quickly arrived and her blonde hair and round face were very kind. She helped get my waist to eighteen inches. I quickly got into my lemon yellow get up and walked out the door. I stopped at a vendor who was selling the most wonderful smelling bread. I pulled out my purse and bought a loaf. I ate part of it and put the rest in my bag. I walked a bit more and arrived at a friend’s house, Elizabeth Barrett. I knocked on the door, and Wilson, the maid, opened it. She let me into the house and left. I proceeded to walk up the stairs to Ba’s room. I knocked and entered. She was sitting on her couch reading.
She looked up from her book and said, “Come in Florence.” I closed the door behind me. I walked to the chair in front of her couch. I immediately sat down. By this point I should tell you about myself. I am twenty, red haired, named Florence Conway, and I live in London, England. I didn’t wait for Ba to stand before I sat because she is an invalid. Her brother Edward died about four and three fourths of a year ago.
“So, Ba, What are you reading?”
“Some poetry by Robert Browning, did you know that he has been visiting me?”
“Really! He’s the most handsome poet in all of England.”
“Yes, what smells so wonderful?”
“Some bread I bought, would you like some?” Ba nodded and I opened my bag. I pulled out the bread and broke off a chunk. I gave the piece to Ba and she began to nibble on it. Ba looked out the window and finished her bread.
“I’m sorry to be so rude but could you go Robert’s coming.” I nodded picked up my bag and leaned forward to hug her.
“Is your father here tomorrow?”
“I’ll see you tomorrow then. Bye.”
I walked down half the stairs when Mr. Browning passed me I nodded to him and vise versa. He proceeded upward and I went back onto Wimpole Street. The world seemed so alive. So full of wonder and love. I was happy for Ba because she was happy. I waked around for a few hours and looked at the vendors and kiosks. Then I got to my real duty, I had to get my outfit for tonight’s party. It had been planned for three whole months. Everyone was going to be there with the obvious exception of the Barretts. They never went anywhere, at least for social gatherings.
Later that day, well the evening, I as getting ready for the party with its strenuous formalities. I had a dark red dress made partly of velvet. And I had Anna curl my long hair into ringlets. Once I was satisfied I left with my father to the party. There I had to go through the niceties, a fancy term for speaking to every last person there. Halfway through that I didn’t meet anyone I didn’t already know and was reaching for the nearest servant carrying wine or spirits. The party was being thrown by a wealthy family by the name of Augustine. My father and Mr. Augustine are very good friends, so are my mother and Mrs. Augustine. But their daughter Ruth is a real bore. Luckily they are wonderful hosts and I do not need to meet them again. After three glasses of wine I thought I met every one but I hadn’t, as it turned out Robert Browning was here. I saw him through the corner of my eye and headed toward him.
As I reached him he seemed very bored. I spoke first,” Mr. Browning, I do not mean to intrude upon your being but my name is Florence Conway. We met before, just passing at Elizabeth’s house. I uhhh, wondered if you would care to talk as you seem, well, bored.”
“These things have always bored me, they’re so fake and as a poet I refuse to acknowledge anything but the truth.” He replied.
I laughed a slightly drunk laugh but also a slightly witty one.
“What?! Why do you laugh?”
“Because it’s so true.”
“Have you met the rest of Ba’s Family? Mr. Browning?”
“No, I once passed Mr. Barrett…but he didn’t seem like the person of her family I’d want to meet.”
“Smart move.” I replied.
“Have you met many of her family?”
“A few I’ve met Occy, Henrietta, Samuel, Arabella, Charles, George, Henry, Alfred, and Sette. Of course I’ve also met Surtees, Henrietta’s suitor. So basically the whole family. Including her father, Edward Barrett. We’re on friendly terms he doesn’t mind me seeing her and he likes my family. I never new her Brother Edward though, because he died about four and three fourths of a year ago. Or her mother who has been dead for many a year may she rest in peace.”
“Hmm, interesting. But I thought that they weren’t allowed to see the opposite sex?”
“Yes that is true but Henrietta sees Surtees secretly and obviously you see Ba. Probably because even though he might not like you you’re both poets. So he probably thinks you both discuss stanzas and hyperboles.”
You know quite a lot about poetry for someone who doesn’t write it.”
“Well, I’m Ba’s friend so…”
Robert gave me a quizzical look when he heard his name called from flock of young girls desperate to talk to him. ”Well my dear Miss Conway I believe we must part to do our own social niceties. I believe we shall meet again. Farewell.”
H headed toward the girls with a look of dread on his face that they were too girlish to recognize. The evening dragged on and I met another man by the name of Walter Ashwell. My father met him after I did and an immediate liking to him. I asked my father to leave so we could talk. As it turned out we had quite a bit in common but we didn’t have much time to talk he had to leave. But we made a date for the day after tomorrow. Shortly after that I left with father. It was just him and me. My mother died having me and she was the only woman my father could ever love. He’s my best friend. When home I got out of my corset and into my cotton nightgown. I had Anna brush my hair one hundred times. As I fell asleep my head danced with thoughts of Ba, her family, Surtees, Mr. Browning, and Walter.