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When The Perfect Tuxedo For The Bride Makes The Perfect Wedding

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I would have said the strangest thing I have researched – and written about – for one of my novels, was the chapter in my first Onion novel, where my characters built a bridge over a river in 3rd Century Italy.

Alison Alexandra was destined to edge me even further.

In There Was A Time, Oh Pilgrim, When The Stones Were Not So Smooth, I was writing about a wedding ceremony where the bride is dressed in a tuxedo, as are all her attendants.

She is a fashion designer, and creates a line of female tuxedos.

She unveils them at her own wedding.  

Peaked vs. shawl lapels – to say nothing of all the colours.  

One aspect of Alison Alexandra – rarely alluded to – is that in her teens and early twenties, she was a fashion model in Europe. She left the job from boredom after five years, but it is from this enterprise she gained enough sustainable income (via investments) to be left alone, and live the life she lives.  

However, her mentor – the fashion designer, Bellissima Isobella – has called her back to do a favour.

Bellissima Isobella is getting married, and has created a line of tuxedos for herself and all her attendants. What better way to promote them?  

There is an aspect of the tail wagging the dog in this research.

And, let me tell you, the Internet is awash with photos of ladies in tuxedos.

Oh – yes.

Alison Alexandra will be in red

A Police Officer Called Me “Dear” This Afternoon

I wonder how she knew.

I was walking in this mainly residential neighbourhood to go to the bank, when I came to a line of stopped cars. A long line. Not too much untoward happens on these streets, and I was wondering what was the cause. I came to the treed boulevard that crosses the street. There were the flashing lights of two police cars , and a long tow truck with a broad platform upon which they haul damaged cars.

And there were two damaged cars.

These are generally slow streets and placid streets and it is an anomaly to me that one car dashed out to crash into another. Or that the other could have been putting on the speed.

Regardless, the whole intersection was blocked by two dented and damaged cars, two police cruisers, and one big tow truck winching one of the cars onto its broad platform.

And a female police officer directing traffic.

There seemed to be no sensible route for me to take

I was the only pedestrian and she looked over at me and said:

“Where do you want to go, Dear?”

And I did not mean my response to to be funny, and I’m not certain that she took it as funny, but she gave a hearty laugh when I said that I wanted to go “straight”.

And she kept chuckling as she looked over the scene and said “I guess if you want to go straight you’re going to have to get around this somehow.”

Which seemed true to me, too.

So I watched for cars though none were moving, and took a wide berth around the big tow truck, and jumped a little at the grind and snap of some metal, and went on my way.

When I returned after the bank, the whole scene was empty.

Missed By A Day (slap my wrist) Happy Birthday Franz Kafka

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03 July was Kafka’s birthday.   Imagine all the celebrations running rampant in the world that I missed.   No doubt a hearty rendition of “Hip hip hooray” and the occasional exuberant “Huzzah!”, echo through each major city and every quiet hamlet.  

I have written him a letter (as yet, unanswered).  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Present / Your Future

Still in this World

A Life Away

Dear F:

You would find it perverse to be wished a “Happy” birthday, but your response would be gracious. Such is the reality you understand, and how you deal with it.

I enerally find your reality is actually real.

Although it will give you no pleasure – well, ‘little’ pleasure – you are correct in all your observations.

Governments become the tools of the bureaucracies which run them. It doesn’t matter what type of Government, from the monarchy under which you lived, to the right wing horror of fascists that called themselves socialists, to the inept socialism pretending to be ‘for the people‘. All three governments held their sway over the city where you spent your life. All three oppressed the people they ruled. All three looked after themselves first.

Writers are either writers or they aren’t. The urge to write encircles one like a snake around its prey. Feed it and it won’t quite squeeze you to death. You can not ignore it – even at your peril. It is with you every hour of every day, ever inquisitive and (sadly) always looking for something better.

Love is a see-saw of extremes. Every high guarantees a low. Every low reaches for a high. Every high reaches for a high. When these hills and valleys are eventually levelled, they are still desired.

Sex is highly over rated. The thing of it is, even rated fairly ’tis a consummation devoutly to be had. Yes – I know – you appreciate Shakespeare. On a par with Goethe, even if you can’t quite bring yourself to say the words.

People are just one damned thing after another. Of course, so many people have brought you blessings, you throw up you hands to ward off the snake. And sometimes – some few times – it loosens its grip.

There is no castle with walls thick enough to hide against the perils of being human. Which is why you never tried.

Except the grave, of course.

Except the grave.

Yours,

D

~~~~~~~~~~~

And, in my novel; Kafka In The Castle, I gave him this diary entry.

03 July 1918

The anniversary of my birth.

In celebration of the day, I did not make it my last.

Does Kafka Dream A Dream In Place of A Dream?

A dream of dreams

Is a dream confused.


Do you wake up

Into another?

Do you blend

Into reality?


Do you pick up

Where you left off?


Or leave off

Where you joined?


If it’s not making sense,

Is there sense to be made?


Did Kafka have the answer.

Or was Kafka the question?

Dominion Day With Frolicking Beavers In Canada

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Canada is – rightfully – taking a beating with the renewed (certainly not *new*) information and revelations of the horrendous treatment done to our First Nation citizens. This is not only historic, but contemporary, Justice can not help but come too late, But Justice must come.

I will re-post this this story that centres around the country I live in. The human is just an observer.

We know that Canada Day is really Dominion Day.

But – that said – there is still no better symbol for Canada than the industrious beaver. But even hard-working beavers hard-working beavers need their time at play. This is what I saw.

I was walking along the river and heard the strangest noise.

It was one of those noises which, when I found out what It was, sounded exactly as it should. A beaver was chewing at a branch on the bank of the river.

First there were small rolling noises, as the branch went through its hands.

Then the ‘gnaw gnaw gnaw’.

And then the turning noise and the cycles were repeated.

This went on fifteen minutes or so, until the beaver and I both heard noises in the river.We both saw another beaver approaching.

The beaver-at-gnaw quickly went in her direction (though I can only guess which sex was which). They swam toward each other, then rubbed faces. The approaching beaver made small bawling noises like a young calf. They rubbed bodies and sniffed each other. They then swam in different directions.

This performance – the swimming away, the languid circling, the approaches – went on for twenty minutes. A couple of times the ‘gnawing’ beaver clambered over the over beaver’s back, but this lasted just a few seconds. The beaver that had first approached rubbed noses once again, then made the bawling sounds one more time.

I never appreciated how large beavers are until one of them came up on the bank. The water was clear enough to see their feet and tail move underwater (I wonder if the portion out of the water might have the 1/10 proportion of an iceberg). The sun was setting and they became difficult to see.

However they decided to part anyway. One began to go down river toward the harbour and one headed to the other shore.

Perhaps they had just had a date. Perhaps they had just arranged for a date. Whatever the case, I had the distinct impression they were more than friends.

I Am Among The Anointed Pure Of The Earth

I have had my second shot (or “jab” as her Blessed Majesty, The Queen, refers to it}.


Pfizer, one month earlier than scheduled,


I didn’t follow the yellow brick road (though it was as good as) but a series of yellow tape arrows down some stairs and then down more stairs then through a Fire Door [DO NOT LEAVE OPEN] and then a corridor that led to another corridor where a fellow got my name and checked his iPad and looked at my card and before I could say “Yes, it’s me” a voice came from an office door “Dale, is that you?” and in i went and appreciated how efficient it all was.

So I sat myself down and was asked ‘which arm’ and then asked if I wanted some warning or if just to give the jab and I had barely indicated the latter choice And a little round band aid was applied. and then it was done. Didn’t feel a thing.


 Then I got a piece of paper with the time limit to which I was supposed to wait {10:59} and  a little pin I could pin to my shirt which says “Fully Vaccinated” with a cross of two band aids underneath.


And when 10:59 popped up I was offered my freedom and before I was out the door my chair was being disinfected for the next person, kept outside in an antechamber.


And then, back along the yellow lines and arrows {except going against the arrows}, and I didn’t leave the fire door ajar, and up the two flights of steps and into the sunny (and not too hot) morning.


Jeez – maybe I should have worn my button.

Alison Alexandra And The Beautiful Game

Alison Alexandra is wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat. She has a light blue ribbon tied around the hat, the ends of which trail down the back of her neck. She also wears oversize sunglasses, with broad, mirrored lenses that show nothing but reflection. Even if she is recognised from her past brush with fame, and her tiny fraction of team ownership in the beautiful game, she won’t really be seen.

Against her better judgement, though in accord with her better interests, Alison Alexandra is attending a knockout game in the semi finals of the World Cup. Two full periods and (if necessary) an extra half hour and (if necessary) a penalty shoot-out. The beautiful though slightly too hot weather for the beautiful game makes her attire more than appropriate.

Her companion, who ceded to her years ago the tiny fraction of team ownership, still pursues his desires for her renewed interest, whether from helicopters at sea to entertainment like the World Cup with all the trimmings. And this time – because it will be a nice antidote from her staggering travail with R/Jane-the-Ghost- she accepts.

And she knows that – actually – he is going to be interested in the game.

Alison Alexandra does not like the sanitization of owners boxes and enclosed spaces – “May as well be watching it on television,” she says – so, although they actually have some of the best seating, they are not in the crowd and exposed to the turmoil and noise and passion of the tens of thousands of rabid fans. Which is what “real” is – and Alison Alexandra likes “real.”

“It might get hot,” says her companion.

“I’m dressed cool,” says Alison Alexandra.

And indeed, is a sun dress the material of froth, and her jaunty and all-covering headgear, Alison Alexandra is prepared for heat beyond her comfort zone. But that heat has not happened today.

“Are you glad you are here?” asks her companion.

I am,” says Alison Alexandra. And she is.

“Is it exciting?”

“It is.”

“Do you want to make it more exciting?”

“I do,” says Alison Alexandra. She always does.

“Will you sleep with me if the team I’ve been cheering for wins?”

“What’s in it for me?”

“You get to sleep with me.”

Alison Alexandra likes this answer and appreciates his arrogance – she always did. And the sex was pretty good, too. But she wants something more.

“I’ll bet,” says Alison Alexandra. “But this is the way I’ll bet.”

She takes a notebook and pen from her shoulder bag. She writes a word on one of the pages and tears it from the notebook. She puts notebook and pen back in her bag, then folds the page neatly. She tucks the page in her bra.

“If this country wins, then I win, and then I get what I want.” She taps her chest.

“What if it’s the same country that I choose?”

“Win/Win,” says Alison Alexandra. “Isn’t that perfection?”

“And what if I lose?”

“You can’t possibly lose,” says Alison Alexandra. “Because you get to remove the page.”

He laughs at that, and Alison Alexandra is glad he laughs at that. He has matured as some men do, and he was barely out of boyhood when they cheered each other in bed. Her aunt would have said – if ever her aunt had known – that Alison Alexandra had been cradle-robbing – but sometimes that’s what cradles are for.

“You’re flirting,” says her companion.

“It’s all part of the beautiful game,” says Alison Alexandra.

Birds At War – One Crow Sorrow

 I don’t know how it started – I heard it, but didn’t see it.


There was a harsh thud against the window. If you are used to it (I have heard it enough) you know that a bird has struck the glass. Generally  hard enough to stun or kill. Break their necks. When he was a child, my father saw a bird hit a window so hard that it smashed the glass and ended inside the room. It was dead.


So I got out of my chair and pulled the blinds open and took a look. By the sidewalk was a blackbird, dead enough looking for me to assume it was dead. As it proved to be. But, also on the scene were  five or six blackbirds, calling and fluttering and diving and raising right hell .I thought it an unusual commotion even for the death of one of their own,
And then I looked up into the fir tree on the corner of the property. A third of the way from the ground was a crow. A very cautious crow. A crow twisting its head every which way it could.


Now, I did not see what made the blackbird crash into the window. It is reasonable to assume the crow was somehow the cause. Blackbirds chase crows, and dive bomb them, and worry them, and harry them, and do so with the help of other blackbirds. Crows like to raid their nests and eat their eggs or their young. A crow is a big bird compared to a blackbird. Strength in numbers.


So, I suspect the dead blackbird made an in flight miscalculation while chasing the crow. It got too close. Then, as it tried to get out of range, it crashed into the window. I was quick to look out the window, and the crow was already in the tree. It may have lunged at the blackbird, or spread its wings. or aimed its beak. The blackbird moved too quickly in its attempt to get out of the way.


But the crow was not out of the woods yet. It wasn’t going to take to the sky and attempt an escape. A half dozen blackbirds could inflict injury on the crow. It was going to stay put.


I had the unusual experience of being nearly level with the crow. I watched it. I watched its head. I watched its eyes. Birds have active, cautious, suspicious eyes. Their eyes are large in relation to their heads. Their eyes are jammed into their eye sockets, so they are generally  unmovable. Consequently, when they want to move their eyes, they have to move their head.


So, this crow was moving its head a lot.

Five or six blackbirds kept hovering and diving. Even two blue jays joined in the ruckus, screeching in the background at all the commotion.

This went on about five minutes, then the other birds departed. A couple of minutes later, the crow lifted from the branch. It had murder in its eyes.

The Murderer Of George Floyd Wrote No Notes Waiting For His 22.5 Years

The EX police officer

Of the law

Wrote furiously

Like a crazy man

At his trial.

Yellow pads

Were filled

Page after page,

Minute after minute

Second after second

Witness after witness

Word after crazy word.

Now

On his day of reckoning

He wrote

Nothing.

Not a word.

He did speak some words

Odd words

Vague words

About

“. . . some other information in the future

”  that would be of interest .”

And, it might

It might.

But

Regardless

It will be

Way too little

And

Way too late.

~ DE BA UEL

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