Recently in just a story... Category

the plastic bird was not enough. now a fine black mesh is wrapped around several pots and places on the balcony. some monster had arrived to put pig back with eons. there were bits and pieces of bits and pieces all over the floor. had a visitor tried to make me hate them? were the gifts of guano expressions of love?
i was not very good at reading the signs.
not sure the mesh will do anything. if it will not work, the next step is going to be the purchase of a bucket of toothpicks.

walking to mr. suds later in the afternoon, i noticed a pigeon that looked as if half of it were glued to the middle of the ocean parkway service road. the bird must have broken a wing and perhaps more and was now trying to take off, in heart breaking slow motion, maybe at a wave a second.
almost wanted another car to arrive and free it of pain right there. or was i supposed to break its neck?
was this somehow connected to how much i had hated pigeons just a few minutes prior?
i imagined that the best outcome of this would be one of the cats living around the building finding the pigeon, killing it gently and then feeding it to its young.

when i walked past the spot a few minutes later, that seemed exactly what i saw about to happen. a not very large female cat was carrying the freshly killed pigeon in its teeth. the cat had to walk almost upright because of her front legs being almost too short to carry the large bird without letting it touch the ground. the pigeon, with its iridescent belly facing forward, had its wings wide open, together the animals looked like a griffin, or some other yet to be described mythical animal.

looked down on my neighbours balcony. the mother pigeon was still sitting on the nest she had made in one of my neighbour's flower boxes. next to her was a small open eggshell. i at first thought that some other animal had taken the content of the egg and that the mother was sitting there traumatized. an odd thought but probably conditioned by my experience of seeing a pigeon killed just minutes prior. when i looked again and from a different angle, i could clearly see a yellowish, naked, freshly hatched thing under the mother's belly moving slowly.
it looked as if it were two little birds even. but i think it was just one.

then i noticed a second nest on my neighbours balcony, in a larger, round pot. what just a few days ago appeared to be a lucky accident now seemed to be a breeding ground for birds right under my nose. my feelings for pigeons was split back into pigs and eons.

quite a circle of emotions for a simple gray sunday, maybe as gray as the underwing of a pigeon in flight.

the good apple...

it was on september 22nd 2003 when i finally placed the order for that new powerbook. i ordered one custom made, just because i wanted the faster drive and also more control over my memory configuration. the powerbook was one of the first of its kind, it was one of the first that had an alluminum enclosure, and also that firewire 800 connector. it was an exciting and big purchase. i bought it with an external display and also purchased apple care (a really, really good idea, as it was about to turn out.) the powerbook arrived with a dead pixel on its lcd and because it was one of the first of its kind, it also eventually developed strange white blotches on the screen, a rather annoying feature i could have had fixed, except that the powerbook was my primary computer, so i did not want to just give it away... for what i thought would be days. several months ago, the good old powerbook stopped closing. i had to press the button in the front of the computer to make the mechanism work. the screen had become a bit loose. then, about six weeks ago, on the way to california, the wireless card stopped working. i brought the mac into the apple store in santa monica and a genius there just figured out that something was wrong with most likely the motherboard. (he did not document taking my powerbook apart, which almost made me lose my warranty.) it was not until i got back to new york that i finally brought the powerbook into the genius bar in that new new and shiny 5th avenue apple store. that was on july 25th... hmm, some time ago. everybody was very friendly and nice to me at the genius bar. it took about a month for the computer to be repaired. the motherboard had to be replaced and the whole screen assembly too. for that the mac had to be sent away, parts had to be ordered. it took a while to do all this. well, the "repaired" mac unfortunately was not quite okay. the screen had indeed been replaced. and the motherboard was a new one, but now some windows would just leave behind pink ghosts on the screen. the powerbook had to go back into the shop. when i tried to pick it up yesterday a technician came out to tell me that there was a new problem. now the ghosts on screen were white. they only appeared after the computer had been left one for about 10 minutes. (so nice of him to take so much time and to care so much.) he ordered a new motherboard (the third one.) he also made my repair a top priority and even emailed me with the status of the repair in the middle of the night. today was the day on which i was supposed to finally get my mac back. it looked good and it worked nicely at first. the screen was as bright as they got on these three year old machines. no window ghosts. i checked the configuration, just to make sure everything had gone okay in the repair shop... half of my memory was now gone. i used to have 2gb of memory... now there was 1gb... i was expecting that maybe the memory had been lost somewhere in the process of repair, maybe left behind on some desk in the middle of the night. the technician (genius) took the powerbook behind the scenes one more time for maybe 30 minutes or so. he returned with some and some mixed news. the memory was there, inside of the machine... the new motherboard just did not want to recognize it. ... and so he gave me two options. we could try to track down a fourth motherboard for my sick powerbook... or... apple would replace my computer with a completely new mac book pro. wow. okay... because my original powerbook had been a custom configuration, i would be allowed to custom configure my replacement computer as well. i had 2gb of ram in the old machine? the new one should have that too. i had the faster drive in the old powerbook? my brand new mac book pro should have that too. courtesy of apple. amazing. who knew this could ever happen to me? i ended up upgrading my "new machine" to the faster processor. so my new mac book pro will cost me a few hundred dollars. i will also get that apple care again. my new computer will arrive in... hmm... several weeks. i am amazed. i asked the apple genius how often he has seen such a miracle of transformation happen. he knew of four occurences in the three years he has been working for apple. fantastic. i still can’t believe it. hmm... In any contest between power and patience, bet on patience.



walk don't walk, drive don't drive, look, don't look. love don't love. she stared at the changing signs right there in front of her printed eye, both of them, as long as she was there on the outside, waiting for something to happen, something that could move her further, along, away, and yet she would never leave there, where she was staring down broadway, at all times, glowing at night, focused during the day. she was not really seeing these signals at all, her image was, something that appeared to be here was, something that was made to look like something that could probably be mistaken for her was.
she did not really think about that, at all, she did not really see broadway, or the lights or anything really, not even the lens anymore, not even the lens, the one that cast a reflection in her eye, the reflection, long gone, removed, replaced, by one that made her eye more inviting, or the image of her eye, the eye that saw but not the walk don't walk, just the move, don't move, the blink, don't blink, the smile, don't smile.
and there were four of her, layered, thinner than paper, right here, this second, and yet in thousands all over, and then not really...
she was asleep.


"When I will be gone, I will miss you, perhaps" she said.
They were sitting on plastic chairs on the roof of an empty old industrial building and looked towards the horizon, towards Paris. It did not glow as much as it did in the postcards. It was a milder glow. A sleepy one. It was too late at night for tourists. Too late for the lights designed to attract them to stay on. The sun would soon return and make this past few hours into their first "white night".
She smoked her second cigarette. He stared at the sky.
"you will miss me 'perhaps' ?", he said, adjusting the pitch of the last word to resemble her softer, more feminine diction. "How snobbish of you to say something like that. Maybe, perhaps?" He looked at her, or rather at her back, as she had turned away and seemed to be more interested in the nearby buildings. "Will you base your decision on what I will do in the next 24 hours? Or what will happen to you once you get back to Japan?"
"How long have you been here?"
"Soon longer than anywhere else."
"See, that's why."

of a fork


it was a silver fork on the table, next to the large plate, the white one with hand painted flowers. there was a grand excitement in her four sharp points, a prepared feeling of being able to lift pieces of the meal to feed a mouth, whatever mouth she were given to feed on this particular night.
She liked to sink her teeth into steaks. Little juicy strips filled with some captured blood. She would dive into them, head first, the knife would then free the part she was able to carry and she would hold on to the meat until it was removed from her. She could feel how good the meal was by the mere reaction of the food on her skin, but also by the frequency with which she was sunk into what was on the plate. Sometimes the knife and her would perform more elaborate dances. First she would hold on to a little piece of meat, then the knife would stroke her side, leaving some potatoes and maybe sauce on her back. She was a bit worried about metal touching metal, of course, but it was a pleasure to see that she was much more important than the untrusted knife. The knife was never allowed to enter the mouth, as far as she knew. (The spoons would make some stupid claims in the drawer, but she barely ever shared a meal with one of them, so she did not believe a word.)
Her favorite dishes were probably those eaten by some Americans who made sure to cut the entirety of their meal into pieces and then, after retiring the knife next to the plate, had a very private experience with the beautiful four pronged fork.
She loved to hold on to food, she loved to sink her teeth into anything spongy, something that like a piece of bread could then collect a sauce, some oil, some fat, some blood. She was the guide then, moving on the plate swiftly, drawing wild figures on the surface of the plate.
At the end of a meal she would often be put on the side, right next to the knife, resting, often holding on to him, ready to say good bye.
The moments that followed were the ones she feared most. They were the moments she disliked. Sometimes a hand would pick her up and run her through soapy water. Sometimes a much too hot shower would almost scorch her delicate sides. If she was lucky, the cleaning treatment was gentle. On some less fortunate days she would end up under a pile of her sisters, barely exposed to cleaner, cramped and wet.
In the dryer then there would be some fearless conversations. The fish fork girlfriends would argue about who's left and who is right.
There was a soft spot in the velvet lined drawer. Soft and dry. She would spend days in her favorite position sometimes, spooning with the others, resting, dreaming. She dreamt of scratching her circles into the belly of a spoon, while collecting more and more delicious pasta. She dreamt of being cleaned by a silver cloth. A much happier procedure than those buckets full of chemicals. She dreamt of traveling to far away places, tasting other foods, of being wrapped into a napkin with the daring mr. knife...
He was a horrible friend, nobody trusted him, of course, his blade was sharp and he could be quite hurtful. But he was her favorite partner after all. She loved to be close to him before a meal, clean in a warm blanket, and after, messy, sweaty, covered with delicious foods they just had shared. And even during the meal, when they performed their close and exciting dances, he was the only one in who's sides she was able to see herself clearly. She saw her slowly accumulated scratches and little blemishes, but he reflected them quite clearly, with no comments, not making things worse than they were, as the stupid spoon loved to do...
She sometimes looked over to the knife on the other side of the drawer and she knew he was the only one she loved more than food itself.
She dreamt of being passed on for generations. Just him and her, a perfectly matching set. Maybe a salad fork could come with them, maybe a little desert fork... Who needed spoons these days... pasta was to be eaten without them anyway...

a pink marble table...

| 1 Comment

It began all with a sliced piece of meat. She had smuggled some of that fantastic prosciutto from Parma and decided to cut it like Gino, her secret loved one, the man who helped her wrap the illegal meat into his own pajama pants. It had been a long f, she had had plenty of Chianti, she barely managed to lift the smuggled meat onto the table.
She wanted to make it real, it was supposed to be a Gino moment.
She put the large object onto her pink marble table and took good aim. With one hand on the handle, and the other on the end of the large blade, she cut through the "skin" of the animal part, revealing the salty dark red core. Oh, delicious sin. She closed her eyes. She smelled the intoxicating aroma of the delicacy. She slit the second slice, as thin as humanly possible, with same attention, same slow speed, same micro movement. She was pointing the blade away from her body and so the tiny piece of meat fell behind the large pig leg.
She reached over the collect her culinary masterpiece. In front of her was just the table, the Prosciutto, the knife still in her hand. She leaned over, around the salty object. Nothing. She looked under the table. Nothing.
Where was Orange, that crazy hungry cat?
She was too tempted and too hungry to look for anything or anybody now.
She cut another little slice. Same technique, same results. The meat fell out of sight and disappeared just like the two previous pieces. She could be dreaming. She could be just imagining this. In front of her, a large meat object with a deeper growing cut.
She cut again, this time the risky way. Holding the slice, not letting go, she held in her hand her little trophy. Gino and her would slice them just like this and then each one of them would start at either end. He was obviously not here now and she was not crazy about the not all pretty fat rim he liked to eat, and so before she ate her snack, she hat to cut it into shape. She wanted the pure red meat, the pure hemoglobine drug for herself.
The sharp knife went through the white rim like through butter. The moment was here, she was to close her eyes, she opened her mouth...
there... on the surface of the pink marble table, the pieces of fat were sucked as if they were drops of water on a sun dried sponge.
She took a step back. This could not be normal. She quickly ate her piece of meat and touched the surface of the table. It was a very smooth surface, polished, warm. It felt quite nice. It was an expensive table. It had been a gift from Wolfram, her past boy from 2002. They had been quite obsessed with things designed. Well, she thought it was a gift from him. He had left the table for her, when he left to go back to Germany, overnight.
The fat was gone. She licked all of her fingers. She would now try to cut herself another slice of ham. Again, with high precision, off came a little slice of time cured pork. She put all of it on the table.
The slice, as if were a tiny model of a torpedoed ship, sank into the surface of the marble tabletop. This was not normal.
She laughed out loud, such a surreal illusion.
She cut another slice, put it on the table. It sank much quicker than the previous ones, it seemed. Another slice, same effect. This looked like a perfect trick to be presented on a morning show.
She drew her hand again over the table surface. Warm marble. Soft and smooth and warm as if the sun had given the stone something of a body temperature. She moved her nose closer to the magic "make the meat disappear" spot. Could she still smell the meat?, would it be neutral marble fragrance tone?
The table smelled like a delicious plum.
How could a marble table smell like plums. She loved plums, they were in fact her favorite fruit, but she had not bought any for weeks, they were not quite in season.
Her senses were quite obviously playing some elaborate tricks on her. First the disappearing meat, now the fragrance of plums... She moved even closer. Now it was the knife, the large piece of meat and her, leaning over the table, holding herself up with both hands, moving her nose just millimeters above the reflective stone surface. Plums. So rich, so fresh, such juicy fragrance... oh, how incredibly strange. Her tongue gave in, she had to taste the table.

The table surface was completely smooth. It was a thick slab of pink marble on quite thin and interesting legs. It was a very unusual design for a piece of furniture only because whoever had created this piece, must have been obsessed with taxidermy. Attached to one of the shorter sides of the tabletop was the tail of an orange striped cat. The animal part seemed to come straight from the marble. A very odd design.
There was nobody here to ask about the secret of this cat's tail. The previous owner of the apartment had left it, just stopped paying rent, disappeared, gone.
She might have not even returned from her trip to Italy?
These were the moments when the super wished he lived here in the building. Nobody heard the woman move away. He would have caught her. He would have al least made her leave an address. She really did not seam to care. ONly the piles of mail gave away that she was gone.
All that she left in the completely bare apartment was this strange table... obviously too heavy to carry down the stairs all by herself at night?
The super was done with the apartment, there was no need to clean or even sweep. He leaned over the table like a field marshal and looked out of the window. Just a few more weeks and he would be able to retire. He was a bit tired of this suddenly thankless job. Before the recession there were the good tipps, the friendly, honest people. Now tenants would just move out without as much as a word.
This city was getting expensive, rude, dumb.
At least there was still somebody in the building who knew how to prepare his favorite dish, a home made beef stew. Actually, it almost felt as if delicious steam were rising from this strangely warm pink marble table he was leaning on...

I like stories about tables, and tables in stories. The one above was inspired by a drawing by Funtime Ben, from the Fun Tree House... (Hope he does not mind...)
Take a look at his... Killer Table. (A Subway drawing!)
: ) Thank you for the kind words, Ben.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the just a story... category.

Irrelevant Adventures is the previous category.

just remembering is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 4.25