Monthly Archives: December 2008


Some are weak, he said. Not like the old man down the street who is physically weak, too feeble to carry his own simple groceries any longer, but weak in mind and spirit. And though the old man moves at a pace for a snail, he is more admirable than the mentally weak man because the body often atrophies quicker than the mind.
The weak-minded atrophy at an early age, through misuse and poor handling, and, he added in secret, brain cells do not rejuvenate. We must be disdainful of the weak minds, he said, as if it were contagious.

This is one of many opinions I heard from the man on the corner stop. I, just a simple street pigeon, grey in color with white specks (quite beautiful, some say), came to his acquaintance only after many months of annoyance: he gladly ravaged up pieces of bread, torn from silly American tourists’ baguettes, for his own mouth.
Thank goodness he was not like the man before him, who licked his finger moist and picked up all leftover crumbs like a sponge: we nearly starved. Even the crumbs in the dirt between the cobblestones! That was the tragic spring that we never mention, for it brings back bad memories of shameful and drastic measures.

It’s a natural to be offended at the overriding and widespread assumption that pigeons are stupid, lazy, and fat. All young, adolescent pigeons go through a period of anarchy and physical dissent, usually characterized by shitting everywhere they sit. Trees, people– even Renaissance-period cathedrals—it doesn’t matter.
As a whole, we’ve accepted man’s low expectations and negative impressions by casting this stereotype off as an unfortunate misunderstanding due to the lack of human brain cell regeneration.

I was not sure of the corner man’s diatribe about weakness and brain cells. We believe we are the incarnations of clouds, crying rain in longing to reach Earth. Once on Earth, we fly upwards, in an attempt to reach the sky we miss—a lovely cyclical creation myth.

Because we are incarnates, our sole tenet is that our souls and minds pass to our worldly pigeon bodies. The idea that cells were unable to go through rejuvenation was absolutely repulsive.


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She seemed friendly enough, but who’s not, at a bar?  Well– lots of girls– they give you the snotty bitchy look as if they didn’t shit– but it was some type of innate behavior girls put on when they wear red lipstick and slutty heels.  The brunette, holding a blue drink and a red purse, was nice enough.  We chatted; she said she liked the weather.  I asked her if I might be able to call her another time and she told me she might be the last person in the world who didn’t have a phone; she was rebelling, and I thought of the tribes of people in the Sahara desert.  Surely they didn’t have phones.  She didn’t offer any other way of contact and I felt awkward.

I asked her what she was drinking.  “Adios, Motherfucker,” she laughed.

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She stepped outside in a daze; people in business attire and city workers in orange garb were bustling around; buses and taxis honked and hoo-yahed, steam rose from the ground.  She must have been in the bar for at least six hours.

Her hair smelled like Grey Goose, red lipstick, and an old Michael Bolton song.  She was in desperate need of a cigarette, black coffee and a shower.  She only had five hours before bible study.  Manhattan’s a fucked up place, she thought.

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You might think I like showing off my legs.  Sure, I’ve heard it once or twice before– that my legs are shapely and look touchable.  “It’s freezing outside, Matilda,” you tease me.  “Doncha know we all know you have beautiful legs?”  You’re laughing at my vanity.  But we’re inside and it doesn’t snow inside, except at the mall during holiday shopping.  I can’t afford pants.  I’m barely five feet tall, living in an all-American society of five-sixes.  I’d need extra income to get pants hemmed, and you don’t pay me enough, Charlie.

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Did you see that sock?

Another dirty sock, left promptly at the door alongside sneakers, flats, household slippers and a striped umbrella.  If I never picked them up, I don’t know how many would sit there, accumulating into a sock hill.  I tried to organize and make it easier– for both you and me– a very simple system, two baskets, one labeled “whites” and the other, “colors”– but each time I put the socks in their assigned places I felt segregationalist hipster guilt.

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I woke up before dawn to see V,
wrapped tightly in a sheet covering body and head
like a serpentine mummy.  I touched him and he
instinctively grabbed his blankets from me like slumber’s
Robbin Hood, taking back what was rightfully his.

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Dark Glasses

Twenty-five years old and she wasn’t back to work yet– not at least in the eyes of others; she knew she was quite hard at work, writing her first novel, the next smash amongst the pre-teen and teen set.  Who knows, the novel was just progressing, and she didn’t know if she wanted to drive into chick-lit direction.  It wasn’t too late.  She could already see it on HBO– the next Sex and the City, based on her novel.

She had just come back from a yearlong trip abroad, exploring beautiful sights of nature and cosmopolitan wonders– the Licancabur volcano in Chile, a French man in her bed, and shoes.  Do not forget the shoes.  So many things seen, so many buttery croissants eaten!  Her year of travels was worth at least– three novels.

But she found– the words were not developing up to speed.  So she blogged, posting neck-down photos of outfits she planned to wear the next day, solidly stylish, and as well as photos of food she ate at various expensive restaurants in Asia, while writing about the books she read, the verbose literary magazines that decorated her apartment– and made sure with a nonchalant manner.  This is key.  Oh this?  Just my everyday life!

Oh, men!  They were infatuated.  Women just a few years older saw through it– they had all played the worldly, literary snobbish role before and eventually realized it was out of confusion, being lost and unsure, this– Trying Too Hard.  They kept silently embarrassed while younger girls and men fawned.

Please write about your preferences and opinions strictly!  I absolutely adore this, I despise that– Indeed, they become affirmations, your badge that declares like a morning bugle:  This is who I am.

She read Kundera one day describing Laura, an unlikeable character, and how she wore dark glasses not to hide her sadness, but as notification to everyone, telling the world, “I am sad!  These dark glasses bring it to your attention!”

Immediately she went to her computer and got her credit card ready, looking for perfect dark glasses.

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