Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Chapter 1

Lolita, a light in my life, the daughter of my wife. My friend, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: a slippery trip for the tip of my tongue, tough and rewarding, like our friendship, and fun to say, even in anger. Try it: Lo. Lee. Ta.

She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. “You can’t go to school in one sock!” I said, fondly. She was Lola as well. They called her Dolly at school. A little infantile, that name. She was Dolores on the birth certificate. But in my heart she was always Lolita.

Did I ever think of fathering kids myself? I did, indeed I did. In point of fact, I might have had a daughter the old-fashioned way had I not lost the love of my youth, a certain initial young lady. We made such plans in our princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. (You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.) But if that first love had worked out, why, I’d probably never have met Lolita or her poor sweet mother, I’d certainly never have gone on the road trip, or any of the other riotous happenings I plan to disclose in this thorny tangled whopper of a tale.

But it’s all true, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I promise you that. Exhibit number one: my heart. I may have been a beast at times, to Lolita, to her mother, certainly to Quilty, but as for the fullness in my heart, well—even the seraphs would envy that.