Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bonaventure Cemetery

You may associate Bonaventure Cemetery with another book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; I will remember it fondly as the location of the first time I ever let anyone read a bit of my novel, "LPT."

Late on Christmas Eve (Christmas, technically) I'm receiving text messages from long lost friend Giles Gonnsen. Giles is brilliant, brilliant. This man can sing, dance, play piano, act and especially write. He's a playwright. We were friends in college and after graduation he left to live abroad in Trinidad & Tobago and Colombia. We were talking late Christmas Eve and decided to get together this weekend.
Picnic? I suggested.
He asked where.
"Bonaventure Cemetery," I said.
"I like your style," said Giles. "Time? And white or red?"
"Noonish? Red or white is fine. What shall I pack?" I asked.
"Sandwiches, dear," said Giles.
"Ok. And where do you want to meet?"
"The entrance seems simple."
"Sounds good. Maybe we should have red wine as it's going to be cold."
"Warm and comfortable," I replied, "Your attire always surprises me."
"Alright. Warm clothing, but still fashionable. Wear lingerie."
"Well yeah."
"You are a doll," Giles said. "Any other details or relevant information?"
"Feel free to bring anything you've been writing. Let's read something, shall we?"

We met at the gate and walked along one of the paths together. We hadn't been very far when Giles says, "Here we are," his eyes to the left.
This shouldn't have surprised me. We walked on until we came to a
clearing among the headstones, statues and trees.

Here we sat down for sandwiches and red wine. We toasted to each other, to Spanish Moss, to many different things. Giles told me Moth-worthy stories about his adventures living in a third world country and I caught him up on times in Savannah. After lunch and most of the wine I opened my macbook. "You're the first person to read any of this," I said.
"Thank you," Giles replied.

He read the first eight pages of my novel aloud. It was both familiar and strange to here my words in his voice. I smiled and cringed. Giles looked me in the eyes and told me he really liked it, said he wants to read more, could he read more? and critiqued miniature details "because I feel like you want me to," he said, and I did.

With a printer out of commission he brought nothing to read and so, after the rest of the wine, we walked the basket back to the car and took a stroll. Here are a few of the pictures:


Myself & Giles

I'm very good at keeping secrets.

Johnny Mercer's Grave Site

Freaky flowers bloom in December.

Giles, the view.

Edge of the lawn, overlooking Wilmington River

Giles, greatly concerned with her missing fingers.

We're laughing about how much my cousin Sherri and I look alike.

The graves are so white they glow.

Note: If you are wondering why we did not photograph the iconic Bird Girl statue of the cover of Midnight, it's because the statue was removed from Bonaventure, and now takes residence inside the Telfair Academy of Arts & Sciences.


  1. The adventures of Lizzie. Can't see what your next adventure will be. Don't wait too long to write!