These works are inspired by the 1932 MGM film starring Greta Garbo,
Joan Crawford, Lionel and John Barrymore.
Of all the converging plots,
the one that caught me at first occurred at the end, when Garbo departs
from the hotel to be joined by her love, her salvation.
They had met just the previous night. He, the hotel thief hiding in her room, had
stopped her from committing suicide. In fact, their love and hope for
life was ignited that night. In the morning he failed to appear outside
The servants, knowing her lover was murdered a few hours earlier, lied
to Garbo, saying "he will meet you on the train to Tremezzo."
She accepted what they said, but her face had a flash of fear. She deluded
herself in order to hold on to a moment more of the beautiful life.
I saw that "delusion" in my late wife Aviva, while she held
fast to hope up to the last moment afflicted with terminal cancer.
Over the years other things from the film took hold of me, while the
audience and dragons joined in as allies in the plot.