blackout

Feb. 25th, 2019 09:46 pm
asakiyume: (cloud snow)
At 6:30, this windstorm knocked out the power, and I freaked out, picturing us without power for days in the well-below-freezing temperatures. The pipes would surely freeze and burst and then cost extravagant amounts to fix, and anyway we wouldn't be able to fix them right away because everyone else's pipes would have burst too, and so the helper-fixer people would be in short supply.

I went to the supermarket to get milk and maybe another candle. In the parking lot, I met Wakanomori, who'd just gotten off the bus; he said the town to the west had power. I knew from the gossip in the supermarket that the town to the east didn't.

"We'll just have to sleep in one huge bundle in the living room under coats and blankets to keep warm," I said as we drove home. Without street lights or house lights, it was deeply dark everywhere.

As we were about to turn in at our driveway, our headlights illuminated a huge and unearthly creature, the color of smoke and about as corporeal, standing where we usually park. It was a deer--standing in the middle of the driveway. It stared at us a moment, then ceded us the parking space and walked away down the slope into our neighbor's backyard accompanied by a friend who'd been standing by our apple tree.

"National Grid estimates the power will be back by 11 pm," the healing angel reported, once we were inside.

"Please let it be so," I prayed.

And a minute later, the lights came on.

I think it was a blessing from the deer.
asakiyume: (Em)
The same day my friend showed me the photo from the previous entry, I had a great encounter in a pharmacy. There were two pharmacy technicians, young women, chatting. One came over to give me the prescription I was picking up, and I saw on her name tag that she had the same surname as Em in Pen Pal, and a really pretty, unusual first name (so unusual that when I typed the whole name just now into Google, a picture of her popped up on the first page of results).

I don't know if you've seen that meme on Twitter that goes

don't say it
don't say it
don't say it
don't say it

And ends with you blurting out the thing, but that was what happened with me. Don't say she has a pretty first name; that's intrusive, I told myself. And DEFINITELY don't mention that her surname is the surname of a character in a story you wrote.

But I did, and she smiled and said, "Oh really? My name? Where does the story take place?" So I told her, describing Mermaid's Hands, and said that it was kind of a fantasy, and she said, "I love fantasy! You know, that was one of the things I wanted to do before I turned twenty-one--write a book. I started, too, and got 2,000 words ... but then I stopped."

"Oh no! Why?"

"Oh, I let a friend read it, and she had so much to say. She was really sarcastic."

"That stinks! What a terrible friend!"**

"I know, right? The story was about the four elements, and now I see so many stories like that! If I had only finished it. . ."

"So maybe if you write your next idea? It sounds like you're tapped into what people want to read."

... I love encounters like that.

**I really believe this. When a beginning writer gives you something to read, it's terrible to close them down like that. I'm not talking about a situation where you're in a writer's group together and sharing critiques, or if an experienced writer asks you to beta read something--that's different. (Though even then there are ways and ways of giving criticism.) But if a friend shares something they've created with you, you don't shit all over it, any more than you would if they showed you their first photos or their first pottery or knitted item or sketch. If the thing genuinely appalls you, there are still ways of begging off without giving the creator a world of grief.
asakiyume: (man on wire)
In the supermarket the other day, a mom scolded her baby, who was sitting in the little seat at the front of the shopping cart, when the baby leaned down and started chewing on the cart handle. "Don't do that! You don't know where that's been!" the mom exclaimed.

AND HOW RIGHT SHE IS! Just **think** of the adventures shopping carts get up to!

The cart you are sitting in right now, baby, may recently have been sunning itself on the beach...


(source)

Or it may have been tangling with rival gangs in shadowed alleys... (though your shopping cart seemed more hale and hearty than this one)



(source)

It may have been for a refreshing swim...



(source, an old LJ friend's journal)

Or perhaps spent time communing with the mountains...

Abandoned Shopping Cart At The Banff Railway Station

(click through for source, Flickr user "Malcolm").

Baby, if we were to give you a blessing, it might be to travel as widely as a shopping cart.
asakiyume: (turnip lantern)
I was at an event last week, a breakfast event, and I was sitting at a table with people I didn't know, but we were all making conversation, and somehow the talk turned to animal visitors, and one woman started talking about how a squirrel had been paying them visits over the summer:
I left the window open, and there's no screen, but I didn't worry about anything getting in because we're on the second floor. But I had a bowl of nuts on the kitchen table, and it kept on going down. I kept on refilling it--I thought my husband was eating the nuts. But it was a squirrel. A squirrel was coming in and eating the nuts! But you know, squirrels are like cats. If they like you, they'll leave you something, as a present. Better than a cat's present! Well I guess the squirrel liked us, because one day I came into the kitchen and there was a doughnut on the table.

"Is this your doughnut?" I asked my husband.

"No, it's not mine. I thought it was your doughnut."

"If it was my doughnut, do you think it would be sitting here, uneaten?"

It was the squirrel. It had had so many of our nuts, it decided to leave us a doughnut.

Now maybe the squirrel just happened to be carrying a doughnut it had pilfered from somewhere else, and it set it down to much on some more of this woman's nuts and then scampered off in a panic, forgetting its doughnut. But I really like the woman's interpretation of the events.

traveling

Oct. 9th, 2018 10:38 am
asakiyume: (autumn source)
For reasons that would make a good story, which I will tell any of you if I see you in person, but which I won't go into here, we made a journey to Canada yesterday.

That is a long trip for a day trip, may I just say, but anyway. We encountered some interesting people along the way.

The Leaf Lady

She was from England. We encountered her at a a rest stop and information center on the interstate in Vermont. She was here, apparently, for the foliage, which is looking pretty magnificent in northern Vermont right now, but my phone got itself in a tizzy trying to update operating systems, so NO PHOTOS.

Leaf Lady: Excuse me, where are the leaves?

Visitor Center Staff Person: There's a board out front that tracks the foliage. It's best in the Northeast Kingdom right now.

Leaf Lady: All right. How far is it to Kingdom?

VCSP: You're entering it now.

Leaf Lady: And so I'll see leaves?

VCSP: Well, it's overcast today, so it may not seem as impressive, but yes.

Us, mentally: THERE ARE BEAUTIFUL LEAVES LITERALLY ALL AROUND YOU.

We made up a story that one of her children, who likes mountain biking and free running and recaning old chairs and making cheese, came to the United States and married a Vermonter and wanted her to see this beautiful place, but the mom is very suburban and didn't really want to come and this is her passive-aggressive resistance.

That center had a school parent-teacher group raising money by offering fresh coffee and baked goods fro a donation. Excellent.

The anti-tourism border guard

We crossed into Canada at a very small crossing point. There were no other cars on the road, and only one border guard, a young woman in her twenties.

Border Guard: And what is the purpose of your trip to Canada today?

Thanks to Wakanomori's research, we had a good answer to this question.

Wakanomori: We're going to see the museum in Coaticook.

Or was it a good answer

Border Guard (incredulous): No one goes to see the museum in Coaticook!

Wakanomori (laughing): Uh, well, we are.

Me (piping up from the passenger's seat): It's a holiday in the United States.

Border Guard: It is here, too: Thanksgiving.

Me: Hmmm. I wonder if the museum will be open, then...

Border Guard: And where are you from again? Massachusetts? And you're coming up just to see the museum?

Wakanomori: It's a long story.

Border Guard: I have all day!

Wakanomori then told her the story of how he and the older kids had biked this route to Canada years ago, and how he'd noticed about the museum then, and....

Border Guard: I see--so you're retracing your steps! Well, enjoy yourself. Maybe you can get some honey or cheese!

Interestingly, we saw a place selling honey a little further along the road--so we could have!

The gas station attendants

These were boys who looked to me like maaaaybe they were 14 or so, but I guess they must have been older? They were full of life and smiles, and they were going to pump our gas! It wasn't a self-serve station. Going to Colombia has emboldened me in languages that I'm not fluent in, so I tried out my rusty, rusty French: "Avez vous une salle de bain?" And he answered me in French and pointed out where the bathroom was! 通じた!(This handy word means literally, it passed through and more accurately, I made myself understood. THE BEST FEELING)

The man at the museum
The museum had a definite shut vibe to it, though there were other people walking the grounds when we got there. We rang the doorbell, as requested by the sign. After a bit a man appeared and told us, politely and with a smile but at length, that he was desolé and that it was un dommage, but the museum was closed. We nodded and thanked him but he kept apologizing, and in that moment all I could think of for "we understand" was 分かりました and entendemos.

The fox spirit
On the grounds of the museum, the healing angel spied a fox. It ran under the museum porch, but then came out again and ran up some stone steps leading up a hill behind the museum. It was very tall for a fox, with long, graceful legs. It stood on the steps halfway up the hill and regarded us, very foxy. Then it ran the out of sight. It was a prince among foxes, a god, a spirit.

Annnd then we came on home, long drive back. Hope you all had a wonderful Indigenous People's Day/Thanksgiving/Monday.
asakiyume: (squirrel eye star)
A student said one of the best things in class today. People were sharing stories they'd been told when they were young, and she recalled being at her grandparents' house during a thunderstorm. It was dark--no power--and it was thundering and the lightning was flashing, and all the kids were scared, and her grandfather said about the lightning, "Don't be scared--it's just the astronauts taking pictures."

The lightning flashes were the flashes from the astronauts' cameras.

Isn't that the best?
asakiyume: (Iowa Girl)
I still haven't managed to do any more Inktober sketches, in spite of some excellent prompts, but here's a doodle of a young woman who was in the waiting room at the mechanic's where I went to get my car inspected.

She was perched on one of those molded-plastic chairs that have depressions for your bottom and your back. She had her legs drawn up to her chest and was concentrated fixedly on her phone. She was pretty, but nervous seeming, someone I'd expect to express themselves in waves of rapid speech.

She was having a Prius fixed. Unrelated to whatever its troubles were, it was missing its rear hubcaps. Before it had been missing one, but now it was missing both. "Oh well--now it's symmetrical," the woman said.

One of the mechanics chatted with her as she was paying, from which he (and I) learned that she'd moved to this area from California, which she'd left because of the--what do you guess? Guess anything! I was thinking she'd say wildfires. (Answer is below the picture.)

at the service station

She said traffic. Which I know is bad, based on what friends have told me. But so bad that you move state? And not just to a different state, but 3,000 miles away? There's more to this story than meets the eye. Or ear. It's none of my business, but I do wonder.
asakiyume: (turnip lantern)
Little Springtime (who lives in Japan--I had better add that detail,or the story may be confusing) told me about an interesting experience she had in a bar. She's sporting a new haircut and looking pretty boss; she used to look a teensy bit like Taylor Swift, but now she looks a teensy bit like Scarlett Johansson with short hair.

...Okay, she's blond; that's it. She actually doesn't look anything like Scarlett Johansson--just, she's blond, and now has short hair and is looking slightly tough, but not mean-tough.

So she's in the bathroom, and there are two young Japanese women her age in there eyeing her, and one of them says something to the other, but LS can't tell whether it's critical or complimentary. She hurries out. Then one of the two come up to her at the bar and says, "You look really cute!" which pleases LS, and they get to talking, and LS ends up asking her what she does for work, and the woman says, "I'm a sex worker." Whereupon LS quickly marshals all her feminist thinking and says something along the lines of "Oh, okay; cool," and--since she has complicated feelings about sex work--soon turns the conversation elsewhere.

At some point, the young woman passes a thousand-yen note (very roughly equivalent to ten dollars) to LS, saying, "because you're so cute," and LS is thinking, generally money is supposed to flow the other way? , so she says, "How about we *share* a drink?" And so they do.

Also. . .
I know this is going to seem like a very bad pun and nothing more, but the truth is I've been wanting to share this cool picture of all these different heads of screws for some time--so why not now?? Aren't they cool? I never knew that screws could be so fancy and so various.

a rescue

May. 12th, 2017 11:16 am
asakiyume: (bluebird)
I saw a pickup truck pulled up on the opposite side of the road from me as I was driving to do the recycling. As I neared the spot, I saw a catbird just sitting in the road ahead of me, not moving. The burly guy in the pickup truck said, "There's a bird in the road."

I stopped. The guy's lanky companion, who was outside the truck, approached the catbird with a jacket in his hands, to pick it up gently and without touching it. Just as he was about to, the bird fluttered off the road and into the long grass and dandelions. "He tricked me!" said the lanky guy. The guy in the truck shrugged his shoulders and laughed.

I drove on, really happy that those two guys--going in the opposite direction--were willing to stop and help out a catbird in need, even if in the end the catbird declined the offer. IRL goodness.
asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
I was at an informational event on sanctuary cities and the Massachusetts Safe Communities Act this afternoon, and before it started, I was chatting with Cliff McCarthy, a wonderful local historian (I've shared one of his other stories in the past--a tale of poverty, murder, and arson). This time he told me the extremely dramatic story of Angeline Palmer, a free child of color "hired out" by the town of Amherst (Angeline was an orphan and ward of the town) to work for the Shaw family in Belchertown in the late 1830s. "Right in that house over there," Cliff said, pointing out the window to the house next door to where our event was happening.

You can read the full story at Freedom Stories of the Pioneer Valley, Cliff's history website, but here is the outline--and some highlights. Mason Shaw, known as "Squire Shaw," had gotten swept up in western Massachusetts' "mulberry craze"--he was investing in mulberry trees, with the hopes of making a fortune in the silk industry. He was also trying to *sell* mulberry trees--in 1840, he traveled to Georgia to try to interest farmers there in buying them. While there, he sent a letter to his wife, telling her to bring twelve-year-old Angeline south, where Shaw reckoned he could sell her for $600.

will Angeline be sold into slavery?? )

The story was so dramatic, so empowering, and--at least briefly--had a happy ending. There are no pictures of Angeline! I wish there were--as it is, we'll just have to imagine her. Visit Cliff's page on Angeline to see a sketch of Henry Jackson and a photo of the house from which Angeline was rescued.





asakiyume: (Iowa Girl)
A couple of weeks ago at the jail, there was a new-to-me CO, B--, at the programs desk. I was heading into the room I've been using for my tutoring when he said, "You know there's a ghost up here, right?"

Usually when people tell me things like this--in any circumstance, not just at the jail--I just go along with it amiably until I can get my bearings and figure out how I'm expected to react, but this time, I couldn't help it: I said, "This jail is only ten years old, and you're telling me there's a ghost?" (I could also have said, "I've been volunteering here for more than five years, and I'm only just now hearing about a ghost?")

"They think it's maybe a child, looking for love," he said.

Even at the time, and more so now as I'm writing this down, it struck me that if you didn't think of a ghost as the spirit of someone dead but rather as a coalescing of intense feelings connected with longed-for people, that sure: there could very well be something like that hanging about. Wakanomori suggested that it could be like Lady Rokujo, whose spirit leaves her body while she sleeps and haunts Genji's lovers, only in this case, children deprived of their parents, haunting the locus of their deprivation.

Anyway, I think I said something noncommittal like "Thanks for the heads up" or "I'll keep my eyes open."

Then this past Friday B-- was there again, along with M--, one of the first COs I ever talked to, a woman I like a lot. I mentioned to her that B-- had told me about the ghost, and he said, "Oh, M-- knows all about the ghost; she's had an encounter with it."

M-- nodded emphatically.

"What was it like?" I asked.

"Well, I had just had a drink of water from my bottle," she said, nodding toward her largish clear plastic water bottle, which was on the desk, "and I felt something really cold right at my waist. I thought maybe I'd spilled some of the water on myself, but when I touched the area, it was dry. Then it started tingling. I jumped away from the desk--I just had to walk away from there. It was like a little icy arm around my waist."

"It probably knew you were a mother," said B--. "It was probably looking for comfort."

I thought about how my imagination runs in different directions: If that had happened to me, I would have been as freaked out, but it would have been because I imagined I'd gotten sudden-onset neuropathy, or worse.

Or maybe not. I'm only there for one afternoon a week. The COs are there for 40 hours a week, and the inmates are there 24-7. Ten years is young for a building, but it's a long time to collect misery. Even I've seen a thing or two, in the slivers of time I'm there. Maybe if I was in M--'s shoes, I would have intuited it the way she did.
asakiyume: (nevermore)






You may remember this clip from The Pink Panther:



I had a similar experience a few days ago, and in trying to decide what thing to talk about this morning (other contenders were Moana and Aslan's remark about only telling you your own story, both of which maybe I'll talk about later) this is what won out.

I was running in my neighborhood, and a little dog--very little--came running across its yard toward me. Its owner was calling it, but it charged on into the street and bit me on the calf.

"He bit me!" I said, shocked.

"He doesn't bite," the owner said. "He can't bite."

"I'm saying he just did," I said.

"No, no--he can't bite," the owner said.

"Well, he did something with his mouth on my leg," I said, and we were at an impasse. She scooped him up in her arms and apologized while continuing to say that he didn't bite. I was thinking, well, maybe the bite didn't break the skin; it didn't feel like much. I'll run home and check. So I did, and damn it all, it had broken the skin.

So I put on street clothes and went *back* to the woman's house, and knocked on the door.

"Look, I'm not here to cause trouble, but your dog did bite me," I said, and I showed her the bite. Her husband showed up behind her. "Did you see it happen?" he asked her. She had a deer-in-the-headlights look and said, "He did run over to her . . ."

"I just want to know that he's up-to-date on his rabies shots--that's all," I said.

"He has his own insurance!" the woman said. "It's at [can't remember] Veterinary Clinic."

"And he's had rabies shots?" I asked again.

Well, so, in the end, they were able to show me that yes, the dog had had his rabies shots.

"Thank you!" I said. "That's great. That sets my mind at ease. That's all I wanted--I just wanted to be sure I wouldn't get sick, you know?" And they nodded, looking a bit dazed, and I left, and everything was, I guess, more or less copacetic.

I've just finished a great book on restorative justice--that's where the harmed party and the person who's caused the harm meet up directly to make things right between them. Obviously this can't happen all the time. For one thing, it takes both parties being willing to engage in good faith, and a lot of times that's not possible. But if it CAN happen, it can be much more healing for both the victim and the perpetrator, and for the community as a whole, than our current justice system. For me, that's what the encounter I had felt like. I could have just gone home angry and stewed, or I could have called someone and made a complaint, but instead I talked to the people directly.

It's not a perfect outcome. I told this story on Twitter the day it happened, and one person noted to me privately that because I didn't contact authorities, the dog was likely to just do the thing again. And that's true, but I feel like there's a limit to how much responsibility I have to take for their dog situation. And who knows? Maybe they'll be more careful to have their dog on a leash before letting it out from now on.


asakiyume: (Iowa Girl)







This conversation played out just moments ago at the local supermarket. Nathan, the cashier at the checkout next to the one I was being rung through in, calls out, "Hey Mancuso, what's our policy on foreign coins?"

"That's a quarter," says Mancuso, from further down the checkout row.

"It's a Canadian quarter," says Nathan.

No answer from Mancuso, so Nathan collars Chris, who is walking by.

"Chris, what do we do about Canadian currency?" Chris passes the buck to Doreen, who is my cashier. (Doreen is the first employee who does not look to be a high school student. She's maybe in her late twenties.)

"Doreen, do we accept Canadian coins? We do, right?" Chris asks. Doreen shrugs. "I always do," she says.

Nathan, still looking doubtful, accepts the quarter.

So there you have it! Canadian currency is good to go in our local supermarket.

Probably just coins, though.


asakiyume: (Iowa Girl)
"How many of you remember when Mother Teresa visited this area?" our priest asked, this morning. It's All Saints Day, and various parishioners were dressed up as various saints and telling their stories. We'd just had Mother Teresa, which was what prompted this reminiscence.

A couple of older people raised their hands.

"It was about thirty years ago," the priest went on. "I was a diocesan secretary at the time. Mother Teresa gave me a medal, and I had my picture taken with her. After that we were driving to our next destination, and I could see we were coming up to a farm stand. I asked her if she'd had any strawberries yet. 'No,' she said, 'I haven't.' So I told the driver to stop at the farm stand. Just picture it: state troopers on motorcycles leading the way, and then the stretch limo. It was just a kid, a teen, minding the stand, and here comes this black limo, and out step two bishops, in their robes, and Mother Teresa, looking for strawberries. 'Here, you can have all the strawberries you want!' the kid said. What a story that must have been to tell at the dinner table that night!"

And that is how Mother Teresa came to have strawberries in western Massachusetts.


asakiyume: (nevermore)






Last night, late, I heard this story on the CBC: the tale of Christian Lyons, a lawyer in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, who noticed, as he took a shortcut home through the woods behind the local high school, that there were a number of foxes about. He saw five. And then...

Lyons waited for them to cross the path and carry on through the woods. They did, and he carried on his way.

"Lo and behold, as I came over a ridge, I saw that these, at least five foxes, had circled back and were back on the trail."

He began to feel disconcerted. The foxes weren't fleeing or trying to avoid him.

"It's almost like they looped back to come in front of me so I took stock of the situation. I'm not afraid of foxes. Who would be?"

The animals began to approach as a pack, loping towards him from about 10 metres away.

"I just kind of jogged backwards in retreat. Not in full-panic flight at this point."

Another five metres down the road, Lyons turned back.

"They were then closing the gap toward me with some intent," says Lyons.

At this point, he says, "it was unequivocal flight response. I just started to sprint away from these things."


Some kept up the chase even after he crossed a road, and one pursued him to the door of his house.

Christian Lyons


Was it because he himself has a ruddy, foxlike look? (Perhaps he has fox blood and doesn't know it?)

Your mission, should you choose to accept it1, is to spin a brief tale explaining the foxes' pursuit of Mr. Lyons.

An alternate mission is to mention other town names that are as cool as Yellowknife. I would love to be able to say I came from a place called Yellowknife.

1Coincidentally, Mr. Lyons had been returning from seeing Mission Impossible with friends.


asakiyume: (turnip lantern)
The healing angel and I were eating a late dinner, very late. (How late? Like 10 pm) There came, from outside, a loud, hollow rumbling, like a kid peddling a Big Wheel. It seemed really close, like the kid was maybe pedaling up our driveway.

I realized it was someone rolling their trash bin to the end of their driveway. Probably my neighbor across the street. But it sounded like maybe she'd rolled it right up to my porch.

Since the healing angel had looked as nonplussed as I felt at the sound, I told him what I thought it was.

"No," he said. "That's not it. It's a carriage. A carriage that rolled out of the past into the present--just as it was going past our house--and then rolled back into the past again."

Later Little Springtime came home, and I told her the story. "Big Wheel? Trash bin? Can't you even tell," she said, "that it was an elephant dragging himself home after a hard day? Those were his footsteps you heard. And what about his tears? His sorrowful tears, made of mercury, not saltwater--did you hear those, as they hit the pavement?"

The healing angel and Little Springtime are awesome

. . . but now I need to go to bed. *sleepy*


asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] wakanomori and I are at my father's house tonight, just to make sure he's doing all right, and to bring over a spare computer that I can use if I need to be here again for any length of time.

My father is telling us stories of his youth, of traveling to Italy after World War II, when he was a young man. He was visiting his grandmother in Palermo, and he recalls that they had to put two iron bars across the doors at night because there was a bandit, Giuliano, who was robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. (My great grandfather had started out poor but had made his fortune in Boston, so his widow counted among the rich.)

I searched Giuliano out on Wikipedia. He's quite a looker!

Salvatore Giuliano (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)


Here, yanked shamelessly from his Wikipedia page, is an exploit worthy of the silver screen (and indeed, Giuliano got a film--and an opera):

The bandit's most famous exploit occurred early in his career in 1944—the robbery of the Duchess of Pratameno. He and his men sneaked into her estate unnoticed, and Giuliano was in her salon before she knew what was occurring. He kissed her hand and showed respect for her noble status, but then demanded all of her jewelry. When she refused, Giuliano threatened to kidnap her children. After she handed the loot over, he took a diamond ring from her hand, which he wore for the rest of his life, and borrowed John Steinbeck's “In Dubious Battle” from her library before leaving (which was returned with a respectful note a week later).

My dad also mentioned meeting up with a woman who'd been tortured by the Nazis, escaping from a bordello a well-meaning relative had tried to take him to--oh, all kinds of stories. But the bandit Giuliano stood out.


asakiyume: (black crow on a red ground)
(I'm back home now. Slowly I'm working through my friends list backlog, but I probably won't make it all the way back to all the entries I've missed--I'm sure glad to be back with you all though.)

I have a creepy little story to tell you about my first night home. We were talking at dinner about the cats that come calling for our handsome Jiji. The healing angel was saying that one night he heard a sound like babies crying, right outside the house, but he knew babies couldn't be crying right outside the house, so he figured it had to be cats.

"In Japanese stories, you'd shoot an arrow at that noise, and in the morning you'd find a giant wild boar with an arrow through it, lying near the door," [livejournal.com profile] wakanomori remarked.

Well, in the wee hours of the morning, right outside our open, ground-floor window, I heard a voice calling, "Hello? hello? hello?" An unearthly, weird voice. It had to be cats (like these cats), but at three in the morning, at the open window, it was hard to think rationally about it. And it kept on and on. I got up to close the window, disturbing Jiji, who'd been asleep and ignoring this greeting. Jiji ran to the window, looked out, then ran away.

The window was closed, but the hellos continued. And then there was a bang and a tearing noise, like something hurling itself at the window and maybe tearing at the screen.

"It's trying to get in," I said to Wakanomori in a terrified voice. He went and banged on the window. The hello-er shifted over to the living room window. Eventually it went away.

"Jiji must really be a prince of cats, and the ladycats just can't resist him," I said next morning.

"No, he's a demon-hunter," said the healing angel. "Only he tangled with something in the swamp that's more than he can handle, and now it's after him."

That sounded shiveringly more likely.

Fortunately, last night, whoever it was decided not to pay a visit.

see the scar in the screen? That was where the demon tried to get in



asakiyume: (Iowa Girl)
So here's the jail story that I've been meaning to tell.

The clock in the room where I do essay tutoring hadn't been changed for daylight savings time. It hadn't been changed the previous week, either. J--, one of the women I was working with, made a remark about things never getting done there, but R--, the other woman said, "Oh, but Ms. H-- changed the clock in the kitchen. I guess it's just that no one's gotten around to changing it in this room."

All three of us looked at the clock. It was a typical classroom clock, big and plain.

"Sometimes they have a knob in the center that you can turn to move the hands, but I don't see one on this clock," I said. It was smooth plastic on the outside.

We looked at it a minute more.

I'm pretty passive. Normally I'd just let it tell the wrong time. But R-- had said that someone changed the clock in the kitchen. So I reached up and tried to lift the clock off the wall. It came right off--it was so light! In the back was a little box for a battery, and a knob for changing the time.

"I can't do this without my glasses," I said. I passed the clock to J--. She turned the knob, and I put it back up on the wall.

"We did it!" I said. I felt really exhilarated. "We're empowered," said R--, smiling.

And even though it's a really small thing, it really *did* feel empowering. At least, it did for me, and I think maybe it did for them, too. We made a difference in our environment. It was a tiny difference, but it was a difference all the same.


Dreams

Jan. 9th, 2015 08:38 am
asakiyume: (Dunhuang Buddha)
(from two nights ago)





I dreamed an old friend died
I dreamed a speculator tore down my house and tried to buy the ruins
I dreamed the city flooded, and there were alligators
I dreamed I waded through, up to my neck
I dreamed women sat above the waterline
Picking through platters of half-eaten fruit
Pulling out the untouched pieces to sell again
I asked them for directions to my ruined house

All through the night I kept waking and nearly waking
Consoling myself with the intuition
That it was all a dream
But it was not till I stood upright
In the crystal cold of morning
That I believed it.


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