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Friday, December 25, 2009

the last tin box

When I was ten I stuck a tin box in the ground under the shrubs outside Stacić’s in Zagreb. I planted it down deep in the roots. I put my valuables in this box. A box of matches, a wad of prints, a shake-me-snowglobe. And in this tin box was another box – another tin box – and inside that one, another one, and so on, you see, like a Russian doll. But with each box things grew more valuable. From book of matches, to compass, to amber stone. Extrapolate on and… catch my drift? Box upon box until the last tin box.

So I stuck it under the shrubs for none to find. But the problem is, the whole neighborhood was crawling with thieving little runts, looking out for anything they could get their filthy fingers on. So I stuck it in the ground, deep down in the shrub roots and I packed it hard with earth and gravel because there was something in that last box. That last box, you understand, was the point of all this. Without the last box none of this would’ve been necessary.

Well, what was in it?

I spilt blood for that fucking box. I dug my nails into those marauders. I pulled out hairs and kicked groins for that last tin box. As a ten year old, Mica, I went to war.

My God, Lui.

You see here, Meek, my chin, you see this scar?

Yes.

These pillaging runts, ten, eleven, twelve year old, they went around with spiked sticks, probing the ground, spiking the shrubbery for my tin box. Every day, a band of these rovers. So I went after them. I threw myself at them. I fought them tooth and nail until one day, one of their spiked sticks was planted in my chin. Right here, you see... I bled profusely, but this goes without saying.

Lui!

A Montenegrin, a ten year old named Mulović. A beady-eyed worm of a human being. I wanted nothing more than to roast him on the spit he used to probe the grounds around my shrubs. He was obsessed. I was obsessed. All I could think of was that last box. I didn’t care about the crap in all the other boxes. It was the last box, Mica, to preserve the last tin box.

Well, why didn’t you just move it inside, Lui.

I couldn’t. Someone would see me. They were all over the place. They were my neighbors and their neighbors and so on. A ratbag of runts. A hundred eyes and spiked sticks, Mica. There was nothing I could do. And the thing is, after a while, I forgot exactly where I buried it.

Damn it, Lui, what was in the box?

That’s the thing, I don’t know anymore. I don’t remember.

How can you not remember - you’re lying - how can you not remember the content of the last tin box!

Really, I don’t know.

WHAT WAS IN THE BOX LUI? TELL ME!!

Mica, calm down.

TELL ME!!

Ooouuww! Meek, jeeeeeeez. Let go of my arm. Your nails! What’s the matter with you? Why are you so angry?

Why did you bring this up then if you don't remember?

Because, with all these shiny boxes under the tree, Mica, I remembered something today. Not what was in it, but where I put it. I know where to find it now. I know where it is!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

minus twenty

There were no Turks in sight and no beast showed its hairy face. Not in this fucking weather. It was minus twenty. Easy.

I was on the corner with Mica Spirelli (Mica wrapped in woolly layers). She kept whispering vapory Lui's in my ear – Lui, lets go, Lui – until her teeth chattered and she fell silent again.

Minus twenty. The pavement hard as steel. The sky solid blue. Even the pigeons slowed their pecking. For a second I though of those yellow-eyed hares that’d eyed me underground, how they must be freezing their little rabbit butts now; and that demonic pulse further down – that crazy, maniacal pulse – I figured it too must slow its beat in this glacial cold (not so scary now, are we?!)

Mica whispered more vapor – Lui-Lui – and then off we went, through the salt-slush, through icy air, through the glare of snow downtown Rotterdam. We didn’t stop until we hit the river, and there we stood as still as stalagmites. It was frozen solid – the river – a beam of ice miles in length.

In the distance a man on skates slid towards us. A crazy bastard in a linen suit. It was JK. Of course it was JK. His jacket fluttered. His cigarette smoked and his body fumed with vapor.

Your lips are blue, JK! Put on a jacket jesus christ!

I’m wearing one, he said as he turned a ¼ pirouette.

That’s linen. That’s a summer jacket.

You mean this old thing
, and he thumbed the lapels as if complimented.

Then I noticed his crotch-zipper wide open and my balls made a painful fist as I imagined his manhood chilled by these glacial winds. I was gonna say something , but he turned to Mica and cut me off:

You look beautiful in red wool Ms. Spirelli. Your eyes especially.

And you in linen JK.

He puffed smoke, finished his pirouette and skated off, unaware - this crazy bastard - that it was minus twenty and that as he puffed and sweated, most of Rotterdam stood completely still.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

riveting jobs

There are jobs out there that are unbelievable. There are things people do that are unbelievable. Pedicurists chip at toes, they pick out deposit and gunk that is hard to get at, but this is a useful profession in my book. I’m talking about the millions – correct that – hundreds of millions who face monitors the better part of the day, who enter figures; figures which get transferred to different departments where they are reviewed by like-minded but “superior” beings, who in turn call meetings to discussed these figures in plenary sessions. So now we have ten, twenty people in a poorly ventilated room. Coffee is circulated and guys touch girls to pass the cream, thank you. Everyone watches one another until a visual is projected on a wall where the abovementioned figures are displayed. Blah blah blah blah blaaaah bleeuh and so on until an underling from the monitor-class interjects a comment about a pie-chart on the wall. Finally, a man at the head of the table projects authority and makes a “strategic” decision. Then coffee is circulated once more and guys touch girls for cream.

Meanwhile, from the bowels of space, a thousand trollish thugs thrust forward at just under the speed of light in an armada of gunships that rips through space-time as a single vanishing line. These thousand "men" – let’s call them that – are partly naked and have nails that need care. But they are not concerned. They are armed to the teeth. Some also face monitors, but most are in the mess hall dicking around, cleaning their guns. They are scheduled to land on or near the Arabian peninsula (not because it’s Muslim territory, but because it's flat and there’s lots of space) and from there they will disperse.

Senior-troll (taller than the rest and fully naked) rises and projects authority as he makes a strategic decision to increase the speed to just over the speed of light. Pressure suits are circulated, a button is pressed, a lever pulled and the armada and its thousand trollish men fold up in space somewhere, approaching in the skies yonder...

I’m kidding.

But – you know – who knows.

Ok, back to work.

Pie charts, people!