Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July 17,2014

“Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.”
― William S Burroughs

The child was not yet two. He reached for the blueberry bush with his stubby little arms and stubby little fingers. He knew which ones to pick. The ripe ones. The leaves of the bush were still damp from watering. The drips of water caught the sun as its light cascaded over the house. He moved the blueberries he picked to his mouth. One after another

The associated press @ap
Malaysia airlines has lost contact with a passenger plane over the Ukraine.

The man felt pretty confident about the piece he just written. He knew some changes needed to be made. He liked it though. He sent a copy to a writer friend in another city to get her opinion on it. The child sat flipping through the pages of a book. The book told of the vacation plans of a crab and penguin.

Three men entered the bank. They carried assault rifles. They had spare clips taped to their bodies. They left the bank manager tied up and fled with three hostages. They used one of the hostage’s SUVs to flee the scene. The police were behind them. The guns started firing. Police reporting that the gunfire was almost continuous throughout the chase.

BREAKING NEWS: A large IDF force has just launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip. A new phase of Operation Protective Edge has begun.

Shadows beneath the trees were cool pockets away from the glare of the sun. The stroller travelled between these patches. The heat of the day had begun to build in the air. There was still some coolness lingering, in the stray breezes and in those cool pools of the tree shade.

Fuck them they shouldn’t have been flying. This is a war.

The child had developed a routine for humpty dumpty. He stomped around until he heard the line about humpty’s great fall. Then he flung himself to the ground.

This is what the plane looks like if it disappears.

I saw objects falling from the sky, I thought they were bombs. I thought they would explode.

These are breaking news stories so we won’t be able to cover these stories until Friday. Wait, I’m informed we don’t have a show on Friday, which is good because those stories are super depressing…
- Steven Colbert

A hostage had been shot and then flung from the car. She is expected to survive. The police spotted an ambush. Bullet holes were in cars and houses for miles. Another hostage was shot and flung from the car. She is expected to live.

America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
-Allen Ginsburg

The child raised his arms in the air and then moved them back down as itsy bitsy spider was sung. The glass walled community room of the library contained the parents and the children. Books were read, bubbles blown and songs were sung.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.

You know what's truly weird about any financial crisis? We made it up. Currency, money, finance, they're all social inventions. When the sun comes up in the morning it's shining on the same physical landscape, all the atoms are in place.”
-Bruce Sterling

Breaking: Malayasia Airlines flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine. 298 people on board are all believed dead.

The man received an e-mail from his writing friend. She confirmed what he suspected about the piece. It was solid. He had felt it and it flowed well.  He bundled the child in the stroller and they made their way through the neighborhoods. It was time for lunch.

The tank moved down the street. Faces peered out of the doors and windows of houses and watched it pass. Dust was in the air. Men moved in formation after the tank. They observed the street through the sights of their guns. The ground rumbled from nearby bombs.

The smoothie was a blend of frozen berries, bananas, milk, yogurt, kale and peanut butter. The child slurped it through the straw of the sippy cup. The child saw the trees and the houses pass. He knew the words for these objects. He knew the words for the cars that traveled down the streets. He reached his foot out of the stroller and kicked it through a leafy branch that draped over the sidewalk.

They pushed their way through the swaying sunflowers. Here and there they pointed. The brought tarps and covered the bodies they found among the sunflowers. A finger of smoke stained the sky from where the plane had crashed.

Events are following one another at a mad pace
-Bruno Shulz

The white smoke was the exhaust of rockets. The black smoke was from the burning buildings.

The woman cleared the wall. She was looking for a cab to hail. The driver was unable to stop as he cleared the turn. After striking the woman he pulled his car to a halt and waited for the police to come. People gathered around the body, after a while the singing of the traditional Thai song deuan pen (full moon) was heard across the Chiang Mai highway. The crying friends of the woman had gotten the gathering passersby to join in for the singing. It was a favorite of the woman, who was already gone.

Two of the robbers were dead and the last hostage. She had left her daughter in their car to get money out for a haircut. It is unknown at this point if the fatal bullet was from the robbers or police. Shells are everywhere. The chase ended when the tires of the suv were blown out. Tarps are placed over the bodies.

The day moves on. Heat is slowly slipping away in the shadows. The man looks at the computer screen. It is the only light in the living room. The child is asleep and so is the man’s wife. The house is still. He is reading some online tributes to John Coltrane who died on this day in 1967. He sees a post on Facebook he doesn’t understand. A cousin of a friend he hasn’t thought of in a couple years has posted a picture on her Facebook wall implying that this friend was dead. The man is confused thinking the cousin is dead, but it’s the cousin posting it. There is a series of confused comments on the photo. Someone said this is not the way to share this news. There might be translation issues as the cousin is Thai, the man’s friend is part Thai and had been living in Thailand for a while. He scrolls down the friend’s Facebook page. Her last post is of her holding an Atlas Moth, the largest moth in the world. It fills the palm of her cupped hand. The text of the post starts “I can die now…”

“But the past is passed; why moralize upon it? Forget it. See, yon bright sun has forgotten it all, and the blue sea, and the blue sky; these have turned over new leaves.
Because they have no memory . . . because they are not human.”
― Herman Melville, Benito Cereno

The dark of the backyard. The sky was a deep blue still slightly pregnant with the day’s light. Trees shook in the distance as the breeze moved through them. The man stood in the silence of his backyard. The Facebook post had disappeared and he could find nothing online. He hoped it had been imagined. He saw the distant lights of plane blinking against the immense bowl of heaven. He watched as it approached its elevation and then went steady towards its destination westward. The trees continued to pulse, and the sky lost all trace of the day. The man went inside. He would not know his friend was dead until the next day. A day that rolled out like all the others. Just like July 17th in the year 2014.

"It was so interesting, when [John Coltrane] created A Love Supreme. He had meditated that week. I almost didn’t see him downstairs. And it was so quiet! There was no sound, no practice! He was up there meditating, and when he came down he said, “I have a whole new music!” He said, “There is a new recording that I will do, I have it all, everything.” And it was so beautiful! He was like Moses coming down from the mountain. And when he recorded it, he knew everything, everything. He said this was the first time that he had all the music in his head at once to record."
-Alice Coltrane

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