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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 3, September 2014


Steven Carter
Tucson, Arizona, USA


Annette is gone.

My generation grew up with her—one of the most popular Disney stars from the fifties. A typical Hollywood product, preternaturally shy (worried about that, Mom put her in ballet) she appeared in a string of awful beach movies alongside the supremely untalented Frankie Avalon. Equally unable to truly act or sing (her songs were double-tracked), all she had going for her was sweetness and innocence, even as she wiggled her navel in a bikini.

Once upon a Marin County summer I was in love with another Annette: older sister of my best friend Tony. Needless to say this Annette had no time for me (I was eight, she was twelve); so I was content to dream.

Annette—the Hollywood one—developed multiple sclerosis years ago, and by the time of her death could neither walk nor talk.

She refused to be seen in public, prompting this Wednesday morning reverie:

At some point, when mortality has nibbled away at us so that the body can no longer hide the teeth-marks, Death becomes—an embarrassment. This is odd since, were we immortal, human dignity would be alien to us: a color humans can’t imagine.

Like many of her peers on screens small and large, Annette represented a first in human history: a two-dimensional image composed entirely of photons and electrons, more real than reality itself.

So this little goddess was to me, so she still is, even as, long ago, my real-life Annette also entered the nether realms.

—Where the sun also sets           invisible oceans



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