Sunday, June 15, 2008


There are tides and tulips. There are other things as well. There are things that people can eat: broccoli, soup, tangerines. There are people there with eyes the color of soap. There are women who wear pink bathrobes and snore loudly. There are fortunes to be won and lost and then won again. There are corduroy pants that can support themselves -- they shuffle about and people admire them. There are horses for riding and chickens for broth. There are three overstuffed pillows with the initials W.B. embroidered on them. There is a stick that people mockingly call Candle. There is a row of tin spoons all balancing precariously on their handles. Eggbeaters provide the soundtrack: a metallic hum. People swear at one another. There are cartons of cigarettes so old women have something to put in their mouths. There is a light bulb brought in to provide warmth and light. There are windows that people occasionally look through. One man wears a top hat with an image of Elvis glued to it. He smiles and laughs too much. Another man has no teeth. People look at him and say Whatever happened to your teeth? He responds in a sort of mumbled slurring hiss, and the people all nod as if satisfied with this response. There are stacks of books that nobody reads. There are courtyards that are only rarely entered. One woman walks with a cane. This is thought to be hilarious by the natives. There are natives. There are also tourists: men with big hats and women with big guts. There are no children. Nor are there any whales. There is fruit, but it is made of wax. For now this place is tidy enough, but one woman – alone and in a corner – mumbles constantly about how the whole place is going to pot. Sadly, we will not be here long enough to find out if this is so.

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