"My master comes," says Leporello. "Don Giovanni, of whom Mozart told in his opera. The very same of whom your own Atlanta Opera will tell this weekend. He of the many thousand conquests, lovers from all the nations of the Christian world." He sits down on his trunk to rest. "I say not that he is a Christian. And whether there is a heaven and hell, neither he nor I can say, having been denied both. Mozart told of how Don Giovanni was cast into oblivion for killing the Commendatore, the father of Donna Anna, whose honor my master corrupted. Not that she was the first, nor even the last. Innocent Zerlina, earnest Donna Elvira: many are the names of the ladies he has ... loved."
"When my master would not repent and dine with the animated statue of the Commendatore, the cold statue released him, letting him fall through a doorway that we thought led to hell. There Mozart ended his story. But it turns out hell is in Atlanta this week. And every week before and every week to come until Judgment Day, we find our punishment in another city, with new ladies for Don Giovanni to tempt. He is ... confused, I think. And his charm is not what it was in the blush of life."
Leporello drags his trunk up the stairway, cursing each step in turn.
Don Giovanni passes through the doorway and pauses to consider the gargoyles and putti clinging to the stone arch about the door. Lifting his cane, he bows to them. "May I dine with you tonight?" He wears a suit that once was fine. His teeth are white, though his breath is foul. His skin is dusted with powder to a warm, even glow. He smiles tightly as he straightens his back and tries to remember the trick of putting a twinkle in his eye.
The statues ignore him.
"Well, perhaps another time." He turns and climbs slowly up the staircase to the main floor of the Five Points MARTA station.
Commuters part a wide space around Giovanni as they rush to their trains and appointments. A pretty young woman in blue jeans hurries by, holding hands with a fit young man.
"Zerlina!" Giovanni calls out in delight. "Are you here too? Send away that simple man and let our love-making loosen this sanctimonious town." The woman stares fearfully at him, then passes through a doorway out into the street.
"Perhaps she didn't hear you," says Leporello.
Giovanni tugs at the tails of Leporello's coat. "Erase her name from the books."
"Her conquest has not yet been written."
"Never mind. Soon enough." Don Giovanni inclines his head to a woman in a dark gray business suit. She scowls at him and continues on. "How many?"
"More thousands than I know how to count, sir."
"Such lovely ladies. I'll learn how to part their thighs." He dusts his shoulders and strides out into the street. Leporello sighs, then takes the handle of the trunk and pulls it along behind him.
He finds Giovanni conducting the street with his cane: the rumble of engines, car horn peals, police whistles, mobile phone arias and the thunderous percussion of heels. He calls out to Leporello, "Beautiful music when each do as they will!"
A limousine rolls by; inside, a woman in silk and gold. "Donna Anna!" Giovanni cries, chasing the car up Peachtree with his cane held up high. "My regards to Don Octavio! Will you dine with me tonight?"
The car drives on; Giovanni stumbles to a stop and gasps for breath. He finds himself in a little park, with several games of chess ongoing around him. "So many rules," he mutters. He addresses the players. "You waste your time with these plastic men. Set your fluids back in motion before they harden to amber, forever preserving your seed from the sweet sweat of life." His cane crashes down onto the nearest board, scattering the pieces.
The players leap to their feet, one shouting himself red, the other shoving Giovanni backward.
"Ah! There is yet life in you!" says Giovanni, wielding his cane. "These are better battles than the board! En guard!"
Leporello runs up and places himself between them. "You must forgive his passions. He is heartsick for a lady. He asks that you dine with him tonight as his guests." Not waiting for their reply, Leporello turns and guides Giovanni away, dragging the trunk behind him.
"I am a generous man," says Giovanni.
"Yes, sir. A generous man."
They sit on a bench to catch their breath. A woman in a pale-green pantsuit drops a dollar bill on Giovanni's lap.
"Donna Elvira. Always you return to me in my time of need." He stands and bows. "Your love for me is surpassed only by my love for you. There is no one else for me in all the world."
Leporello laughs as the woman walks on.
Giovanni lowers himself back onto the bench. "Read to me, Leporello."
"Yes, sir." He takes a key from his pocket and unlocks the trunk. It is filled with books. Old, leather-bound journals, accountants' ledgers, spiral notebooks with bright paper covers. Leporello chooses one and opens it.
"One thousand and three in Spain. A dark-eyed gypsy girl whose fiance beat her on her wedding night when he discovered she was not a virgin. A wealthy widow who rewrote her will for you; her grandchildren now paupers. A novitiate who came to bed with you wearing nothing but her rosaries ..."
Giovanni tilts his head to the sun and smiles.
Little harsh, in'it?
Oh that's right...I DID say enjoy yourself.
Go to hell Kombo!
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