2 words: What. Ever.
A gray day. I think it might be Storytime.
In the summer of 1998, LT and I came back from the Middle East and moved to an apartment in Ravenswood, right by the El tracks at Montrose. The Ravenswood El line basically runs up the alleys of Chicago, so lots of apartments and houses back up right next to it. This makes for some interesting window-gazing.
There's a place, right before the Belmont stop, where the train slows way way down to make this big curve. One day not long after moving in I noticed a gallon milk jug, about half full, balanced on the railing of a porch on a third-floor apartment. And I noticed it the next day. And the next week. And the next month. Summer turned to fall and the milk level lessened somewhat (perhaps due to evaporation, I never did get close enough to see if the cap was on or not) and turned this marvelous creamy beige color. Fall turned to winter and I was treated to the spectacle of the milk freezing and thawing and, mysteriously, at one point turning entirely black.
It got so I began to position myself on the west side of the train every morning so I could check on the progress of the milk. I started keeping track. The milk had been there around 9 months from the time I had first noticed it (and possibly longer than that).
Then, one day, the milk was gone. Just like that. What a horrorshow it must have been for the unlucky person who finally went out onto that porch and found it.
I kind of missed the milk, after that. It had become a sort of friendly decaying signpost for me to watch for every morning on the way to work.
(Note: I have to be very careful who I tell this story to. I've had not a few people give me that kind of aggressive blank look or that sympathetic “oh you poor dear, just wait here while I get the straitjacket” look. But I feel confident that Diaryland will understand.)
Has anyone else read Denis Johnson's The Name of the World? What, exactly, was all the fuss about? It wasn't terrible, but neither was it all that, and the critics went nuts and the blurbs on the back of my copy compared him to Twain, Whitman, Kerouac, and Blake. I’m not kidding. Well, talk to the hand, Denis, because I was not impressed.
—mimi smartypants, who suddenly thinks she's a guest on Ricki Lake or something.