November 2010

The Crow's Southbound Itinerary

Every year I put it off and I put it off, telling myself I can hang on for just one more week. Truth is, I don't like leaving the city. I've never been woodsy and though I'd like to think of myself as a bird of the world, at the end of the day I'm kind of a nest-body. But when I wake up with frost on my wings, it's a sure sign that it's time to migrate. When I was younger I just picked up and headed south until it got warm enough to be livable. Big mistake. I spent a whole winter getting chased around by crazy, territorial critters in Atlanta and nearly dying on a regular basis in the woods of Tennessee. I'm a wiser crow these days. I've got a steady plan that lets me take in some sights, find safe shelter and ultimately shack up with some good friends of mine in a climate that suits my tastes.

The Afterlife of Raymond Ford: Little Boats


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Are the frothy, sudsy ripples tidal waves or breakers? Raymond couldn't decide, only accepting that the pink mound in the steaming sea was too small to be an island, too perfect to be anything but a leg. Perfect. The black-haired girl, this was her word though she didn't know it. Raymond wished she would listen to him when he called those parts of her perfect. A perfect leg, a perfect streak of wet hair tucked behind her perfect ear, a perfect bead of water cutting an imperfect road on its way down her perfect back. Are crooked roads imperfect? Who wants to walk down a straight one? Who doesn't want to drive down one? But she wouldn't listen. She'd only stare at the silver faucet, curving like a curious worm with propellers on its sides reading Chaud and Froid.

The Afterlife of Raymond Ford: Dinner With Friends




The wealthy like altitude. This Raymond decided when the concierge directed him to K1, the restaurant on the hotel's 35th floor, directed him with a-- No, no. Not though there. Not to Gabby's. That is the first floor restaurant. You have no table there. You don't have a reservation. The elevator is that way."-- and patted him twice on the back as he advanced. K1 was an intimate space, all Shoji screens in an open room with candles everywhere. They melted in little bowls on the tables, dangled from the ceiling in sticks bound with steel wire, flickered on branches jutting from the walls. Raymond's table was in a corner by the window. He was the last one to arrive.

The Afterlife of Raymond Ford: California Cranberry

It takes the average human body approximately 30 minutes to cease registering hunger after it has consumed a sufficient amount of food. Consequently, people have a tendency to over-eat, to take on more calories than their bodies need. This also means that, at any given time in any given city, somebody is doing something they don't need to do even though it feels like they need to do it. This begs the question, what else do people do long after it's necessary? How many other excesses surreptitiously invade a person's life? Do people sleep more than they need to? Do they breathe more deeply than is necessary? Do they perform acts of love long after they have stopped truly loving someone? As Raymond pondered these things, the man beside him insisted on buying him another drink.

"That's really not necessary," he said. His companion acted as if he hadn't heard. One more vodka and cranberry, though Raymond hadn't asked even once for a vodka and cranberry, appeared in front of him and out of courtesy, he drank it.