Showing posts from March, 2010

Attention Seekers & The Struggle for Silence

My next door neighbour, J.D. Cornfield, works as a shoulder blade sharpener. I can't remember when he painted his Garapa garden decking green and blue to mirror the sea. I know it made me nervous, tense, and drink sour milk. The man is a blatant attention seeker. Each morning, at sun rise, he can be found sitting in a lifeboat in his garden, its bow directed towards my kitchen. He wears an orange life jacket, and vigorously rows while shouting or blowing a whistle.

His facial expression is usually one of fatigue and anguish. Sometimes he sees me and throws fish into my garden. Then wails in a voice, stern and provocative: 'This sea is poisoning my life!' 'You think you're a big-shot!' 'Hey, you in the big house! Big-shot! Watch out for sharks, and women who smile and take you for a sucker!'

I watch this little man navigate imaginary waves and seas, and think I'm experiencing a film in slow motion. Sometimes it is hard to tell whether someone is la…

How to Speak Several Languages Simultaneously

Often on my way to work I see my neighbor, Maximilian Odon Von Woods, swathed in bandages, walking his well-bred German Shepherd dog called Racine. Some days the dog is nimbly disguised with a beard, wears sunglasses, and sings in an American-born Greek soprano voice, ranging from high soprano to mezzo, with an occasional woof thrown in for good measure. Today, it sounds like Gilda from Rigoletto, or feline distemper, which must be worrying, especially for the dog.

'They're trying to kill me!' cried Maximilian.

'Who?' I said feinting surprise.

'Damn tree surgeons, shady doctors, water lilies ... They say I'm taking too long too die ... Do I look like someone who wishes too die?!'

'No ... ?'

'They've a bloody nerve. Take it from me, if you are ill, do not go to a doctor, do not tell a soul. There's a plot to rid the world of the likes of you and me. They want to bump us off.'

He laughed hysterically, then continued in a lou…