watch me read

spring st. post office

(©2013 entire contents copyright all rights reserved.)

One end of the rope was tied around the man’s waist.  The other end of the rope was tied around the belly and back of a large pig.  The pig was on its side trying to get up.  The rope looked like a real rope that needed a real knife.  I didn’t talk to the man.  I just watched him, trying to figure out what he would do next.

“The Europeans!” he screamed (I think in agony). “The European containment method” he said (softer now).

“Are you sure that’s what you heard him say?” the reporter asked me.

I recognized the reporter.  Reporter A.  He was a member of the Live Fave team.  Live as in happening now and Fave as in favorite.  So our favorite happening now team.  They arrived on the scene not long after I did.  I wasn’t a big fan of this reporter.  I preferred the other reporter.  Reporter B.

“Did you find them here like that?” he asked me.

“I did”, I said.  “It’s called the European Containment Method.”

“For the man and the pig” the man said.

“Do you know the man?” the reporter asked me.

“I don’t think it’s possible to know that”, I said.  “I wrote the book the dictionary of coincidences, volume i (hi) and I was on my way to the post office to read from it before I sent it out to a friend of mine.”

I pointed behind me (in the direction of the post office).

“It’s interesting”, I said.  “Because I would have never believed in fourteen billion years that writing my book would lead me to this.”

“Did you see what happened?”

“No”, I said.  “I never do.  I heard the school bells.  That made me turn this way and I saw them on the ground together.”

“Do you know what kind of pig that is?”

“I don’t think it’s possible to know that”, I said.

I didn't think that Reporter A’s brain was nimble enough to like my book although I was certain that he would read it.  Reporter B, however, would enjoy my book but she wouldn’t read it.  I thought back to Aristophanes and the dilemma Dionysus faced when choosing between Euripides and Aeschylus.  It was an eerie similarity and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe at the Greeks and their handling of the disorienting effects of nihilism.

The man and the pig became quiet.  Their struggle was over.  The wind blew over them and us.  Everyone.  Birds watched from the trees.  Behind us, in the woods, an ocelot pawed at the decay of a fallen oak.

Police and paramedics arrived and dispersed the crowd.  I walked to the post office and read from my book while I waited in line with the others.

And above us, far above us, farther still, and even farther than that, the universe remained unchanged.

what i was reading at spring st. post office 12/11/2013:


I was always comfortable with the idea of death in the tropics.  Not so much in colder climes.  But I became accustomed to death’s idea in those places as well.  My journey with death started early.  In the country I was born, near the house I lived in, until my first death.  It wasn’t the ocean but it came from the ocean.  The ocean that brought all of death that had ever sunk beneath it on the air it carried onto land.  For me it was palpable.  One moment we are here.  Then we are not.  And everything goes on as it will.