Some people call me The Ash Woman, or Gjest Haraldes, the royal jailbird, and I’ve been compared to Peter Christen Baardsen, the philandering pianist. I have never been to Oslo. I have never set foot in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. In fact, I’ve never been to Norway. But some people call me Codeine the Wanderer.
Some people call me Duchess Mary Adelaide of Speck or Queen Maud of Lancaster Gardens, I arouse deep rushes of ceremonialism in women of low rank. In campfire songs I am named the cult of Vesta. I’m not a cult. I’m a small person. I rarely leave my room. But some crooners call me Smack the Wife.
Some people call me The Red-Handed Virgin, Sheeba of Dorwich, Jack the Lamp. They say I had a morganatic marriage to a hobo, he was buried with his trolley and I didn’t inherit one tin-can. In folklore, I’ve become Nay Winkatmen – the very standoffish prostitute. I am not the saviour of modern thatching the locals of Wrafton near Brauton in North Devon think I am.
The Jewish Rastafarians call me Shrunken MC for the beatific cakewalk of what used to be – in my youth – the Crystal Methodist Church, some people call me Rabbi Marley. I am not religious. I have no guiding star. Yet the Vatican engraved Child of Jilted Joseph on an apostle spoon, jammed it in my sorbet. My equestrian statue in northwestern Kazakhstan, facing the Ural Mountains, remains nameless and free-roaming.
Some radio journalists are convinced I am the author of the quote ‘Bliss was it that dawn to be alive’ and then committed suicide. They call me Irony Jane. I can’t remember the last time I combed my hair, let alone spoke, but the paparazzi call me The Flash Gazelle. Farmers call me Baby Burdock and, as a newborn, I was baptised by the silent movie ghost of Leopoldine Konstantin who mouthed the words Dear Elvina, thus I’ve met you once before subsiding with the harpsichord into the floor.
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