Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Our Man Jack's Womb

I'm sad to report that we bought all of our groceries with counterfeit banknotes this week. We didn't craft them, though. The postman gave them to us as change. He was standing in our yard, we bought alot of stamps from him, and he handed us currency which had two minor defects. First, all the numerals (upon examination with a loupe) were a simple series of ornate puppy tails; and, secondly, the bills were one-sided. The money was unfinished.

Which is where we came in. Fleur fashioned a small handheld press from condensed cork and a pair of dental tongs. The cork was fastened with a resin compound: coconut oil and sealing wax. The handle of the tongs was decorated with banded agate, polished over again with vinegar. I held my breath while she did that.

Then came the tough part. What sort of scenery did we want to project across the rearward surface of the cash? I voted for snails and their curly shells. Fleur said, "Whoa, whoa," and set a few ground rules. A moratorium on rich symbolism and encouraged me towards a soothing, natural scenescape. We both agreed on Hebrew text, though. Fleur envisioned a crosshatch vignette beneath the text. Perhaps a cat underwater. The cat would be dead. Still limber, but just drowned. And a nice coral border at his feet.

Off we went, contriving some God-beautiful Hebrew together. And by the time we brought our pens up the right side of the bill, we ended up with a portrait of our old neighbor, Jack Brownish, who had cherry orchards. We didn't have any room to add the trees, but he did have his own encompassing oval and cherry blossom boutonniere. Admittedly, there is some feminine symbolism in the oval. Fleur almost abandoned the design, but I patted her hand and got her back in her seat. Then, I added a small toner cartridge to our man Jack's breast pocket, which we both agreed was absolutely devoid of meaning.

We had twelve in all, which we spent on dog food and gin. And we tried our best to be casual about the transaction. We set our goods up on the conveyour belt with slight exhaustion, coupled with a very calm confidence. We took our time strolling within view of the cashier. And we waited to hand over the bills until she had clarified the amount aloud.

"Do you take dinars?" asked Fleur. Good, this is what I suggested.

"I don't read Hebrew," said the cashier, "and I am cautioned not to accept dinars. But I am also encouraged to embrace the cultures of our customers and, it is in this tender capacity that I warmly accept your dinars and eagerly anticipate the continued flourish of your people." The cashier read from a teleprompter beneath the cash register. Her eyes flicked up slightly. "Please hand me the dinars."

Fleur stretched out her hand, clumsily fanning the bills out and said, "We had a really hard time finding the toothpaste, you know. Actually, we gave up and went ahead with just buying dog food and gin." Perfect, that's my gal. Moving right along. She brought a real soulful energy that I just didn't have. But not possible without my very calm and dignified quietness that underscored her performance with implied scholarly annotations.

"Can you make toothpaste with dog food and gin?" asked the cashier. "Seems like I've heard of that. Or maybe it was soy sauce. Or like: you can poison your dog with soy sauce. Yeah, you can poison your dog with soy sauce. Very interesting stuff." Her hands had felt around the shapes of our new foods and she got it all packed away neat in a bag with tucked ends. "Here, let me see your teeth," she said.

Fleur clenched her teeth and reflected light, tilting. The cashier checked it out and said, "Okay, see." She handed me the bag and looked at me and really looked at me piercing. "You know, I've seen you play before out at Mulberry Kites. That kite store, you played there. Your name is Pal H."

Which was bizarre (wrong wrong bizarre) and neither Fleur nor I knew how to take it. We blitzed for a puppet frown apiece and ran the hell out of that place.

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Hi, I was out blogging and found your site. It certainly got my attention and interest. I was looking for Seafood information and even though this isn't a perfect match I enjoyed your site. Thanks for the read!
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