Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Eight Worldly Concerns

1. You wake up next to a stack of hardcover books in the newspaper box. Walk into the kitchen. You slide the dish across the floor with your right paw and watch the splashing.

2. A round slice, a motionless sentence, a pop of air from the tin can lid. They pour soup from a rickety can into a pan and set a fire underneath it. Is that a surly foal quaking on its four legs? You can't eat it. Not tuna, chicken, turkey chunks in gravy.

3. That's good, all good, you're good. You didn't eat the flowers. You chirped when they were solemn. That's good.

4. You knocked a pen on the floor, vomited into traffic, hissed at the blind dog.

5. When the cat sensed things, she dug her claws into Tony's arm, alerting him. The cat knows 27 hiding places and mice the color of raspberries who stick to the roof of your mouth like butter tea.

6. She's crazy. You can't bring anyone over without her hissing. She growls at particular people. We don't know why. Then she rubs against their backpacks. Or their purses or shoes. Then she'll go into the bathtub to fall asleep.

7. A milk bottle cap ring at the crest of the rug, a shoe bottom that stepped on a bug, a breeze that blows a petulant whiff of squirrel through the window screen in July, a new bedspread
walking all over it, a clean pair of scissors from the moon, the first cut into a new bag of food, a clump of dirt you just swallowed with some leaves.

8. Mary attends her class reunion at Leif Erickson High. There, she runs into Howard Arnell, her goofy ex-boyfriend. Mary does her best to avoid Howard, but this proves difficult when he proposes to her over the gymnasium's P.A. system and she's found holding a piece of dental floss under a pile of coats in the closet.

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