Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Coco’s Lament

February 18th, 2011 · No Comments


Thanks a million for putting up with sporadic, half-baked posting this week. Totally drained by Mr. Mom-ing it, a routine that left precious little time to formulate ideas into coherent paragraphs. But help is on the way, as the Grand Empress is making her way back to Atlah this very moment. All should be back to normal soon enough, with the aid of sleep and Dragon Stout.

Before I duck out for a weekend of rest and story outlining, though, I wanted to quickly bring Piano Demon back to the fore. If you haven’t already checked out my tale of Teddy Weatherford, child coal miner turned Asian jazz sensation, please do—it’s a cheap-and-easy way to support your humble narrator, plus you’re guaranteed to learn far too much about the Shanghai opium trade, the Bengal famine, and the early-1930s wanderings of Langston Hughes. (Amazon version here; iOS version here.)

As noted in this excerpt, Weatherford’s grave in Calcutta has nearly been lost to the elements. But the headstone (above) remains in decent shape, and raises a question that I never was able to answer: Who was “Coco”? His wife’s name was Pansy, and she would be unlikely to refer to him as a “friend,” so I doubt she was Coco. An Anglo-Indian fan of Weatherford’s work, perhaps? A band member? If anyone can advise, please do so. But don’t worry, I’m not holding out much hope that the Microkhan horde will have my desired intel. This feels like the sort of mystery that’s meant to remain unsolved—sort of like the question of what happened to the Roanoke Colony. Or why all my socks keep disappearing in the laundry.

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