Thursday, June 15, 2006

 

Legs and Logs and Swampy Bogs

People here like to have their pants perfectly cylindrical. From the belt down to the cuff. The pockets can sag a little. I had spotted a few cases of this before, but most of the passengers waiting at the train station have stuffed their pants with decorative tissue. Some use a wire frame. And not stiff-legged, their joints work just fine.

We happened to be standing behind a professor in a vest who had a long baguette propped on his shoulder. He wore his pants without any infrastructure and kept his eyes closed, I gathered he was off somewhere else, postulating. Two kids ran up and sliced off the edge of his bread with a little serated boomerang, but Fleur chased after them and reprimanded them with a very mean, suffocating hug. She reached down the pants of the older boy and pulled out a styrofoam fish which had been puffing out his jeans' thigh. He jutted his arms out to reclaim it, but she adroitly knocked him on the head with it and he ran off ashamed.

"That's a strong woman," the professor said to me. "Can she swallow a sofa whole?" Fleur returned the missing cap from his loaf. He tried to balance it, but gave up. "My dear, can you swallow a sofa whole?" He chuckled and handed the roll to a toddler who had wandered up and was giggling and thrashing with a little serated (but plastic and child-safe) boomerang.

"Tell me. Are you usually this protective over bread?" he asked.

"I have a few brothers," she said. "Spoiling their fun is kind of my lifestyle." She tapped her chin with the styrofoam fish. The detail done on the scales was incredible. Someone out there is a fine craftsman!

I made a point to shake the man's hand. "Hello, I'm Pal." We shook hands and said nothing further. I made motions to start a few thoughts, but he was usually too busy searching the pockets of his vest or closing his eyes.

After awhile, he pulled out a cellular telephone and started surfing the web. Most of the time he spent reading about the Muppets on Wikipedia, but he also happened to visit Brim's blog! Something inside me shouted at the top of its lungs and I put my hand over his telephone screen before he could read any further.

Fleur pointed with the fish. "Train's boarding."

We sat next to a fellow with truly, truly puffy legs. But heavy. The kind log cabins are made of. Fleur went to put her seatbelt on, but the guy had crushed the latch to powder. She ended up sitting with the fish crossed from shoulder to hip.

The guy with the legs said, "Alright, Rabbit Internet!" He and his son turned on the computers the train gives you. They read rabbit blogs and downloaded rabbit files. He turned to us and said, "You guys want some Internet? It's rabbits only. And it's only on this train! You're missing all the news about the carrot crash!"

But he was wrong. We caught some of the news about the carrot crash. Yeah, sure, the carrot's having a hard time. Fleur and I looked at the train schedule and figured we should be arriving at Denny's house by tomorrow morning. We sang to each other very softly, the tale of the lost dogs and the tales of the swampy bogs. I looked out the window and missed my daughter.