I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
T. S. Eliot, ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’
Bu bu!? by Simone Rea
Fur-lined Russian hats (Ushankas, or “ear hats”) begin to appear on the heads of tall boys all over the city, like streetlights.
You dream that it’s snowing heavily and you have no shoes. Your feet blacken and your toes fall off. You try to run to keep your toes but they snap off like pencil lead and you fall over in the snow.
Ralph Macchio, who played the Karate Kid back in 1984, turns fifty.
Spanish skies fill with migrating birds flying south. Hundreds of hunters in Castellón and neighbouring areas have set “parany traps” – copses filled with glue-covered twigs and spikes. The trapped birds will die and be served in tapas bars. In the ancient mosaics of Pompeii, there are images of parany traps. The hunters keep the tradition alive.
Aris Moore via Art Found Out
You receive emails from your boss all through the night: 12:40, 1:45, 2:52, 3:56, 4:30, 6:23am.
Your boss goes into hospital.
The emails keep coming.
On the ride to work, you get stuck behind a recumbent bike for ages. You just can’t shake him off, and every time you manage to pass him he catches up with you at the lights and takes over again, his yellow flag rippling. You overhear him talking to another cyclist at the lights, saying, “People just don’t look.” His eyes are so small and unhappy as he lies back down in his carriage.
Day after day, nothing happens. More leaves are on the roads than usual, though, the colour of wet golden retrievers. They continue to fall, lapping the ground.
On an envelope that falls out of the weekend newspaper: “This bear will be torn to shreds if you don’t open this envelope.” A photograph on the envelope shows a small brown bear lying in dirt.
Email from Mum: “Went to the A & P show, I always enjoy the horse jumping, Dad gets bored.”
A 71-year-old German cellist with profound amnesia, who can’t remember anything of his past and who recognises only his brother and a care worker (“He is living in the moment, more or less; he has lost his whole life” says his neurologist) suddenly learns a new piece of music. What is the piece?
Postcard from Mum: “People who hug a cat daily are 1/3 less likely to have a heart attack.”
A fashion writer writes: ‘Pencil skirts may seem forever in style but at certain times they come to the fore and epitomise the direction of fashion. Invest.’ Once, many people might have heeded this advice. But something has changed. No one can really be bothered to – firstly – take the trouble to locate, and then follow, fashion. One day, sensing a weird silence, fashion stops. It looks around. It’s standing in an alley. For the first time in its life it’s alone.
Suddenly your nephew turns four. He gets a green dinosaur cake with maltesers for eyes – they’re the first things to go. Your nephew tells you, “You’re a machine,” and says “Hello, hello?” into a banana. A vast bowl of luminous icing is left over and you’re terrified that you’ll be left alone in the room with it and will try to eat it all.
It’s dark by 4:30pm. You feel a bottomless hunger for the thickest, tarriest ale drank up at the bar with an old friend. You try to acknowledge the hunger by simply “observing” it: the way, when meditating or practising self-hypnosis, you’re supposed to “observe” thoughts as if they’re clouds being blown through the sky. Then you bike home in the dark, a determined recumbent at your wheels.