Tuesday, May 17, 2011
"There's one more thing," quips the Hatter. He removes his hat. "'Tis about the mouse." The girl is suddenly plagued by memories of the mouse. Of the day she first made eye-contact, of the night he showed her his deepest, darkest secret. The malignant wind. His little cap and bow-tie, his gap-toothed smile. The vacancy in his muddy brown eyes. Then it dawns on her.
"Oh," she says. The composure in her voice is startling for a soul so fraught with heartbreak. But she has to ask. "He's gotten married, then?"
"Of course," says the Hatter sadly, and her heart skips a beat. He holds up his fingers. "Two mouse plus two mouse is twenty two more days of living."
"Oh," she says again, not quite understanding the mad hatter.
I'm not sure how she got into Wonderland. It was somewhere after she got up to fix the blankets. Running through a maze of rooms, trying to escape the Queen of Hearts. Driving little cars through little hedges. Talking about love with the mouse. If the party was in the basement, then Wonderland was in the attic, and the imaginary school was on the ground floor and Echolalia was the garden and Neverland, oh, Neverland was somewhere else entirely. But at least she is not so ignorant of the World anymore. Tonight she won't be side-tracked by talking animals or ships that sail through gardens. This time, she would have something worthwhile to report to the Queen.