Speaking of being up to date, I should probably let you in on who I am and why you are here. I would love to tell you everything, darlings, but I at a loss for a few of the details. I am happy to tell you what I know; the rest we will have to find out together.
I was born at the stroke of midnight on January 1st, which my mother always thought fitting – I never liked coming in second to anything. I was married to Thomas Davenport, a dashing young attorney, at the age of seventeen. He met an untimely death when he forgot to look left and the streetcar conductor forgot to look up. I married Albert Grieg for his money after that and never danced so hard as the day that divorce finalized. My third and final husband was the mighty Rémy de Plume; three times my age and seven times my wealth. Rémy gave me his name, the Chateau, my beloved Pomeranian Mouffette and a hell of a good ride before he went on to the giant martini shaker in the sky.
At the clock’s strike of my 42nd birthday, January 1, 1912, my Great Auntie Margot bestowed upon me a family heirloom I had seen only from a distance – The Sophie Tiara. Legend in my family had it that Catherine the Great, before she caught the attention of Empress Elizabeth, was involved with possibly the greatest love of her life. He was a handsome Prussian Lord who swore he would give her the world as soon as he had it to give. Conflicting stories were passed down throughout time – he was married with heirs, he was available to marry her but wasn’t allowed, he fancied men but fell for Catherine – they go on and on. I was told this Lord made for Catherine a magnificent tiara adorned with 42 perfect rubies and one center diamond that was 42 carats and wore a red hue, believed to be the little sister of the Hope Diamond. Prior to being christened Catherine in her new Russian Orthodox life, Catherine was Sophie Auguste Friederike, thus our dashing Lord named the tiara The Sophie Tiara and it was the last thing her ever gave her. His ship went missing at sea and the Empress decided Catherine should produce the Russian line. The tiara is given to a designated woman in my family her 42nd birthday (how it came to be in my families possession is something of a mystery itself.) For one glorious year, I proudly display the Sophie Tiara in a box I commissioned from a Amish cabinet maker. She was my pride and joy.
I was having a real ring-ding of an affair on New Year’s Eve, Dec 31, 1912. It was a lovely party. The stars shone that night, I don’t just mean the ones Mr. Chaplin saw when Mr. Sennet punched him for grabbing a little low on Ms. Normands’ backside. We were positively swimming in hooch that night. I may have been a bit heavy handed on the flirting with the marchand de liqueur and the order tripled in size before it got to my cellar. Swimming in a sea of champagne and Napoleon Brandy as the clock threatened to take us into the next year, I brought out the Sophie Tiara to place atop my soon to be 43 year old head. The clock struck it’s twelfth chime and the world I knew went black. I woke seven years later with a groggy Mouffette, and the tiara peaking out from the safety of her hiding spot behind a cabriole leg.
I stayed awake for a blessed four months that time. Then asleep for another handful of years. The amount of time I sleep and the amount I stay awake follows neither rhyme nor reason. I saw almost the entirety of 1947 but was awake for only about 3 days in the 70s. I have come to sense when I should start keeping close to the Chateau in anticipation of one of my naps coming on but I have nothing down firm. The only two things that remain constant are that my beloved Moufette follows me from slumber to cognizance and that the farther I get from the Sophie Tiara, the more my world warps.
I awoke in 2002 more abruptly than I had ever awoken before. The moment I came to full consciousness, I sensed something amiss. Making my way to the Grand Salon, I noticed immediately the front door had been damaged and the Sophie Tiara was missing from her display on the mantle. Since her disappearance, I have slept no more than a night’s rest and my aging seems to be arrested. I try not to question too much, just make the most of what I have, but I never cease my quest to find the Sophie Tiara. I have no idea what the ramifications of her absence from my world will mean ultimately, nor do I know of what I am capable when she is here. I just know we are connected and she calls to me in the most peculiar ways.
I am sure you require much more of an explanation but I simply don’t have one, darlings. So enjoy a glass of sherry and sit here, by the fire. Everything will make sense in time; or it won’t, but you shan’t care either.
I returned to Place to Plume spent and road-weary. I ate enough to empty our larder twice. I could sense the Sophie’s propinquity, as if she was calling to me. I was more anxious than I had been in a while – see where asking questions gets you? The only details I knew for certain […]
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