Some mornings, one wakes up in parts of the brain that have got piled with unaddressed mysteries, a mental lumber room in which lower artifacts are ruining underneath and upper strata are accessable only by funicular. Choice of actions narrows to dusting, organizing, sorting, cataloguing or simply kicking stuff until a path is cleared to liberty. I always choose the latter. The three items assembled into this post were dragged out so I could get the door shut.
There are ripples in space-time that permit enigmas to go unchallenged in conspicuous places. One of them is on the waterfront in San Francisco. At the corner of Mission and Embarcadero, among modern highrise buildings --I first noticed it while staying at the Rincon Center 20 years ago-- is a remarkable example.
File:Audiffred Building (San Francisco) by Sanfranman59
Hippolite d’ Audiffred was living in Mexico spang in the middle of the 1800s . By 1865, what with Emperor Maximillian and one thing and another, Hippolite felt a bit jumpy being French in Mexico. He bought a donkey, loaded it, and walked from Vera Cruz to San Francisco for exercise and health.
Hippolite prospered and, in the 1880s, exploited this spacetime ripple to materialize a Second-Empire Parisian style building on the waterfront lot, complete with Mansard roof and high railed deck. It is still there, across the street from the Ferry Plaza. Also, still, there is the phantom figure on the roof, discernible in the detail below. I do not know when it first appeared, but reckon it's been there quite a while.
I do not think it is the ghost of Audiffred because it proves, upon close inspection, to be a man in a chef's hat and pajamas gutting a haddock on the deck of a spacial-temporal ripple. When I got home, I Googled gutting haddock on the deck of the ripple and got such a screenload of alternatve biography that I had to travel back to 1949 and modify the zodiac. This leads to our next enigma, turtle doves.
Norma said, "It's a neglected part of rebellion against the Puritan ethic. Wizards were men retained by leaders for counsel and power but witches were burnt. Who wants to get burnt?" Can this be so? I think of dancers, who also dress in top hats and tails, like magicians, and remember what Ginger Rogers said: "I did everything Fred Astaire did -- except backwards and in high heels."
I must tell you, I fear I've got into deep waters here --not an entirely safe post-- but look forward to any discussion it might induce. Yet, and yet, now that it concludes, I am most curious about why we brush our hair and then, only afterwards, decide to put a different t-shirt on. Enigmas are endless --good thing too.