If you have read my “about” page, you have seen that I love Harpo Marx and the Marx brothers movies. I read his autobiography, “Harpo Speaks!” which is one of the most touching and poignant books that I have read. (By the way, I will soon post a review of this book.) I wrote two drabbles* in Harpo’s voice– one as him recalling his childhood, one in his adulthood with his family. Here they are:
* Drabbles are brief stories that are exactly 100 words.
I was miserable. Every day, thrown out of school by those bullies. Every day, coming back to find myself locked out… the realization that they did this because of who I was—Jewish, and small for my age.
If only I had known who I would become—famed Harpo Marx—I may not have given up. I may not have only had my harp to give me pleasure. I, defeated, turned my back on my school and worked with my brother. Every day, I worked, mechanically, frozen in time.
I envied Prometheus, Sisyphus. My punishment was harsher.
Honk. Honk. Honk.
Here I am. Sitting in my comfortable couch, my children curled around me. Remembering my tortured childhood—thrown out of my school, tormented—I can’t help but wondering what life is worth. What is happiness? Is it fame, money, fate? No. It’s family. And love. They can change your life.
I listen as my children chatter. One plucks a string on my harp, beckoning me to play for them. Obliging, I sit down, and enter my own dream world. Wrapping myself around the curve of that harp, I let my fingers take me to play with the angels.