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The highlight of the ride was the garbage collectors emptying those green big cans where empty glass bottles and jars get thrown after use. None of the riders had ever seen it done. Some had, from their beds, heard the distant shattering of glass on any weekday in the middle of the night – not at 4:37 p.m. And here was a huge truck with a crane-like hook lifting the dark-green bell-shaped big can in a precarious swing, let go of its bottom above the back of the truck and, swoosh, all the glass down in smithereens. Earsplitting second. In a street nearby, at the lights up and off the avenue, they’d all read the next day, a woman had been killed, unexpectedly, almost à la Crime and Punishment, humid heat perspiring through oppressive clouds, the sound of gunshot must’ve been drowned by the million splinters of glass falling down!



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On the shores of an Italian coastal town a book is catching the eye, undulled by the sparkling Mediterranean. Four Czech Short Stories, published in French, promises, in the preface, to send to print soon as many of the Slovak tradition, those two “lands” being one “country” at the time. Meanwhile, in another swath of land across the continent, on shop windows are Roman numerals followed by Arabic numbers, informing customers of opening times, days of the week simply being counted from one to seven and the hours in the usual fashion. There used to be synagogues and mosques, while a communal cemetery has been relocated nearer a forest, where a river flows, maybe because godful and godless hang on to what is termed pagan. It is indeed so peaceful and quiet you understand why majestic pines and flowing water really don’t care.



I’ve become the gardener at my own home (my family’s. I’ve left.) Kindly contributing to the communal sharing of hardships, I was mowing the lawns when more and more grass was being left behind. Rake it away, naturally. So I went out back where… I didn’t know where a rake could be. I vaguely remembered the rake; but that wasn’t enough. And one I found leaning against a wall in the toolshed, its keyless door shut by a big tree fork, the previous owner – great-grandfather! – must have had a story about this “bifurcation in the trunk of a tree.”

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Because he was reading he didn’t notice what happened. So nothing happened. Yet the Earth kept spinning, the world was moving and gravity pulled. A black-haired young woman in a shiny red dress was strolling on the sidewalk, a bouquet of yellow flowers under her left arm and a single white rose in her right hand. The potholes, full of water because of recent rain, had reflections of her billowy dress. The bus stalled for a minute at the lights. In her eyes the bi-dimensional look of someone who’s already been somewhere and given the flowers, and now going someplace else to put them in a vase and show them. (She’ll draw the table to the window and leave this open, for the yellow flowers, while the rose will go into a separate glass.) If it rains and then it’s warm and the sun comes out, all colors attain a magnificence even the dirty windows of busses cannot make dull.


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The shutter of the phone center rolls down, just as those to its right and left roll up. These latter establishments the evening, possibly the night, belongs to them. From the sinuous bicolored frieze bedecking the big window of one of them it looks like a fancy place for an aperitif and long talks about anything and everything, whilst dozing patrons in nearby armchairs lament under their breath the lack of peace and quiet – an army of white-collars and proper-skirts press to get on the tram which screeches its way off this scene and on to the traffic light at the crossroads, half in dusk, half in twilight, the same ad coating both its sides, but stimulating colors and responses different on each of them, so that those who will finally go to Mexico this summer were probably all walking on the still dusky side of the avenue.



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“And all these coinciding factors caused a state of utter poverty…” He was struggling to get the girls’ attention. Their highlighters drew colorful lines through the paragraphs of the book. That was more interesting than his words. “There’s a striking resemblance with today. Think about the current crisis.” One girl looked up, but the professor’s gaze was on the clear-cut horizon of the fields outside, above the straight line of the window. He wished history could be like that. Surely he couldn’t cross that line? “Personally I like them blonde but brunettes are fine as well, when they’re young…”

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It’s snowing and it’s warm. It was raining water yesterday, the promised storm morphed into drizzle – still it was windy and umbrellas went crazy as they could withstand none of that gale force – now it’s snowing, white fluffy balls, irregular in shape, swaying softly in the warm breeze, nothing compared to yesterday, translucent cotton, while green has never been so green because of inhibited sun rays behind scattered clouds. It’s snowing pollen, loads of it, and it sticks to your face and clothes, it covers the streets, it glides through the open windows of buses and trains, underground a little of it squeezes its way and amasses under subway seats, waiting to be released at stops only few people get off at. It’s all white it looks like a modern fairytale and the tram wires create sparks which could easily set ablaze these little fleecy things. But they never do.