Herr Miller's Money

In the grand pension at the top of the hill lived Mr. Miller the Englishman, a stout fellow (so he described himself, flattering his physicality with a measure of old-fashioned trust in bulk). He was built as a cuboid, his heavy shoulders both bulky and angular at the same time and rising up to engulf his head between them. He had no neck to speak of, and thick fingers like sausages with which he clutched at his teacup in the morning, frowning disapprovingly at the young woman who ran the coffee shop at the bottom of the building when she forgot, as she inevitably did, to bring him milk instead of lemon juice. She (Frau Alttag, that is, the waitress) had been working there for several years, and was quite used to the Englishman’s idiosyncratic behaviour (so she thought, not having been to Britain or indeed outside of the town in her life), but was incapable of holding his preferences for drink for longer than the time it took her (once reprimanded by MIller himself) to fetch a glass f…

Checking Out

It's often the case that I'm waiting in line behind people who don't know how to use a self-checkout machine. I feel no undue hated towards them. The user interface of those devil devices is awful, and it seems like every change to them just makes them more awful. I've never before been in line behind so many people who didn't know why to  them, though. Yesterday I was shopping on the way home and had to wait while four people separately clammed up the self-checkout machines with trolleys full of stuff.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - a Dietary Review

Ang:"Haha, and what do you make of his diet? Not enough protein? Were there any horrible bitter and watery vegetables?"

...What I think of his diet
1 Apple - okay, I like apples.

2 Pears - also good, although I wouldn't eat two whole pears. Maybe in a nice chocolate sauce, or cooked in wine?

3 Plums is a bit much. I would eat a plum, although I don't like plum skins much.

4 Strawberries. No problem. I'd prefer them in a daiquiri, though.

5 Oranges might be a bit much in one sitting, but over a whole day? plausible and enjoyable - maybe a bit boring after the second.

Cake, Ice cream, pickle, cheese, salami, lollipop, cherry pie, sausage, cupcake - all good. Can't be doing with watermelon, though. Too watery.


Looking forward to drinking nothing but nectar for the rest of my life.

And Things

Love, and things that look like love;
Things that could pass for love if seen from a distance;
The feelings that one would call love on a warm day, but mere obsession in the winter;
Love, and other, almost indistinguishable sensations, the flutter of a heart that does not know its way.
Love, love that might have been or might yet be; things that one man would call love but another might be dubious about.
Love and things that masquerade as love.
And things that might be love in another life,
and things,
and things,
and things.

Ice on the bridge

There was ice on the bridge,
and I the kind of boy to drink another man's pint when he left it in my care,
and you the kind of girl to take another woman's accomplishments as her own.

There was ice on the bridge,
and two lovers who'd forgotten who they were and wouldn't be mourned by anyone.
Least of all each other.
Least of all themselves.

There was ice on the bridge,
and a long drop,
and the cold blue river flowing to the end of the earth.

Art Pact 283 - Ninety-Nine Percent

From beneath the water the horse's soulful eyes stared back at me. I took a careful step towards the edge of the pond, feeling the familiar damp caress around my face. My feelings towards the pond have become strangely ambiguous in the last months. It has always smelt of childhood to me, but there is another scent coming to overlay that nostalgic aroma - the smell of sex, the smell of the sensation inside me when I see a beautiful back, the curve of an ankle. The smell that makes me want to puff out my chest and sing songs of my strength.

"Hello," I said to the horse. Its nostrils flared, and for a moment I thought that it might be mute - some horses are, or they pretend to be, at any rate. But the horse blew out a pulse of water from its snout and then spoke:

"Hello yourself."

I wanted to ask why - of course I did, what else would I ask? But such large questions must be approached by roundabout means. One cannot simply march up to the front door.


Art Pact 282 - The Drill

"You know the drill," he says.

"The drill?"

"You know." He points at the door, or rather through it at the situation unfolding outside. "The drill. What to do in situations like this. The drill!"

"Oh, oh!" I say. "Sorry, I thought you were talking about"--I mime using a power tool to drill through a wall--"you know, I thought you had some plan for getting us out through one of the side walls."


"Into another shop." He stares at me blankly, so I add: "Sideways. Through the wall. Into another shop, and then away."

"That's not the drill," he says.

"Well, okay, that's just what I thought you were saying."

"No. No, that's not what I was saying."

"Okay, good, I understand that now. It was just an honest mistake."

"Through the wall?" he asks. "Into another shop?"

"It was just a thought. Just a misunderstanding,…

Art Pact 281 - This is hardly

This is hardly the time for jubilation. The kingdom is fallen, the crows feast on the bodies of the dead, a great plague covers the land and a blood moon presides over all, looking down and laughing its crimson glee at the chaos that engulfs us. Hope has fled to the farthest corners of our minds, and we cower in dark places, hiding from ourselves as much as each other, calling out to gods that we are sure no longer exist for a grace that we have long since forsaken. A dark shadow rolls across the land, and with each person it touches it grows stronger, sapping away our humanity and calling us to arms against each other, man against woman, parent against child, beast against bird.

This is hardly the place for a feast: in the middle of the battlefield, a table set for ten surrounded by the bodies of thousands, sweetmeats and sorbets laid out delicately on silver and crystal bowls, white and yellow and gentlest pink set in a field of deepest red gore, the ruin of many a man. Yet here sit…