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Saturday, August 29, 2009

the freedoms of land animals

JK rolled his Brontosaurus across his living room most of last night – I think he rides it – consequence is that I hardly slept. Instead I kept watch for tomfoolery on my block: Turks, junkies, riffraff and other land animals. Bigman didn’t show. I suspect he was in town resting against walls again, scratching his arms, kicking up his foot and dusting sand off his large body – the usual. He does this at different locations at different times of the night. We all have to keep busy one way or the other.

Then – very late; like at three – two Japanese girls strolled by. I was squatted in my doorway with a box of cookies. They giggled and walked bowlegged in an arc around me. Why the giggles, I thought, what is it? My “reptile” slippers? My y-fronts? or was it just the shadow of JKs prehistoric beast as it swayed past us on the sidewalk. Anyway, I gestured hello and they greeted back – like they do out east – nodding. Between us, on the ground, a pair of critters-with-teeth picked at the crumbs from the cookies I was eating earlier on. And across the street two Turks showed up from the Grillroom; older, mustachioed Turks with tea in tiny glasses, and cigarette smoke coming out of their nostrils almost non-stop. So there we were, the eight of us: the toothy critters, the girls, the turks, the roving bronto, and me. Land animals all. I made a mental note of this zoo, thankful to JK for keeping me up to bear witness.

Yeah, I was glad for all you land animals – glad to see you, I mean. I scratched my ribs like bigman and smiled. I was glad because my mind has been a watery thing of late, a vast, shifting sea: dark rolling waves; gale winds whipping up froth, salt-sting and wetness.

My work at the Plasma Center has been – mmmm… well.... the square of Delft in the window, the L-shaped desks bolted to the walls, the paper squiggles of Plasma Physics, the fire(meat)balls for lunch (one more fireball for Mr. Labas?) Enough! I’m done. I'm really done.

Crunching another cookie, I thought the obvious to myself, what are two Japanese girls doing here in the middle of the night? Kindly land animals from the East. The Turks too were puzzled I could tell. But then instantly in response I though, what the heck Lui, what about you? Caught in moon beams in the middle of the North Sea, salty spray on your Balkan nose, and sea stars in abundance overhead. Pretty unlikely too, but pretty soon that’s where you’re going be. You, land animal extraodinaire, hoarder-of-gravity and taker-of-ground-oaths. You... Lui... at sea.