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I'd prefer not to

Month: February, 2012


On December 29th there was a hawk in the tree outside my window. I had been awake for about ten minutes and was standing next to my bed, kind of deciding if I should make coffee and check my email or the other way around, but still 80 percent in the dreamworld and only having a really vague idea of who or what I was. I saw movement through the window, which I was not really looking at, but it focused me enough to see it, the hawk, which had just landed on a branch of the fir tree and was still bobbing a little, and with a small animal pinned in its talons.

It was a Cooper’s hawk. I checked on the internet. Someone later suggested that it might have been an osprey. I took this suggestion with some odd offense, considering. It was a hawk, I said. A Cooper’s hawk. For some reason this struck me as a crucial detail, that it be a hawk. I don’t know about birds, so I don’t know if it’s true that an osprey is kind of like a discount version of a hawk, like a fake Versace bag, or the less-pretty Olson twin. It’s hard to pinpoint why it makes a difference. I mean, seeing an osprey in the tree outside my window, in Little Italy, in urban Montreal, would be a pretty special event, a once-in-a-lifetime occurance, if I hadn’t already seen a hawk. I imagine if I ever see an osprey now it will feel a little overdone.
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Chernobyl Coffee

Somewhere in Eastern Europe there is a company that plants a crop of beets and other root vegetables on the site of the Chernobyl meltdown. These plants draw radioactive toxins from the soil like organic magnets, cleansing it. The company then roasts the vegetables to the point of dessication, grinds them to a fine powder, packages and sells them worldwide as ersatz coffee. Everyone in the world, even tiny babies, have to drink one cup of Chernobyl coffee. This way the burden is shared, and no one person is affected any more than any other.