The severed heads had been put on pikes for all and sundry to see; made examples of. The unseasonably warm autumn weather made grotesques of each— death masques submitting to rot and gravity; to the punishments meted by the state.
Passersby turned their heads, and covered their faces with kerchiefs, but there was no ignoring such a brutal and noisome spectacle.
Saturday evening, perhaps twenty minutes before the arrival of some friends, as I sat on the Queen Anne, a shadow shape limped into my peripheral. I said Mouse! And then my tone changed immediately as I saw him slump to a stop on the floor just a few feet from me, and close his eyes. …Mouse?
I thought he may have perished before me in that instant, as he did not move when I interrogated him, nor when I stood up.
My mind searched for what I might do about his limp body. I fetched a wooden drawer that I’d just come across the day before, folded a paper towel in, and used a second to pick the poor thing up. He did not so much as blink when I approached, so I knew he must be feeling very poorly, but he was not yet dead..
I set the box on the kitchen table, and put a tiny butter-pat dish of water and some few pieces of granola in, and left him. He moved around a few times, perhaps trying to get comfortable. I’d warned my guests of his presence, and we left him in there while we gathered in the living room.
Hours later after they’d gone, I went in to check on my new charge, and found the box empty, without so much as a thank you. He clearly had recovered, with speed. Lord knows where he is now, but the insolence! Such rudeness!
Next morning after relaying this new to one of my visitors, I could only joke on the disappearance, “Just like a man!” And then there’s me— always taking in broken things.
And then there are parts of town that don’t quite feel like New York at all.
I’m always looking for what elements are the disparate ones; what are the real culprits that make it feel different. Sometimes it’s scale; of buildings, of the street or space around the buildings. But sometimes it’s something more invisible. A certain type of window or siding. The way the garden is planted and decorated.
Every now and then you come upon a whole city block, and the little shops along its length sport cloth awnings all identical, and you have to look around to assure yourself you’re still in Brooklyn.
The church bells are all pre recorded these days. From far away they sound real enough, but sometimes the volume is up too loud, and if you’re nearby you can hear the distortion.
I’ve been buying pond comets from the feeder tanks at pet stores for years. Because they can grow to be almost as large as koi, I only keep them for a year or two, depending on how quickly they grow. When they reach a point of becoming too large for my tank, I release them into a pond, where they can grow to their full potential.
My favorite pond for this is the beautiful koi and comet pond at the Green-Wood Cemetery, which is very near my house. Anyway, I did this drawing of the newest member in my small fish tank menagerie (which includes 3 neon tetras and a zebra neon). He is currently about the same size as the neon tetras— so tiny!
You guys, let me tell you that life in the Big City is just one crazy adventure after another, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Why, this very afternoon, some crazy, impromptu shit went down! Or rather, came down, I should say.
I was weekend-chillin’ in my apartment when I heard an alarming sound from the kitchen, followed by a second, even more elaborate sound. And like a fine wine, that second sound had a long finish—of pebbles bouncing on the floor, a trailing off kind of sound.
Last night, sitting on a blanket on the ersatz turf of the sporting field behind the Old Stone House in Park Slope, I enjoyed the production of Macbeth by South Brooklyn Shakespeare, now in their fifth season.
Set in a post-Vietnam timeframe, fatigues comprised much of the wardrobe, and the weird sisters in proto-punk variations on kilts, a playful reminder of the setting (and I wish I’d drawn them, too).
The sky, too, was dramatic, the wind never ceasing in its toil to keep the endless tide of clouds moving overhead, first unveiling then covering over the moon, and over and over.
(For anyone still tallying up: these bring me to 81 / 100 people )