Monday, April 19, 2010

The Pillow Book: 23 and 24

23. Why I moved to America and not Britain

xxxWhen I walked in McDonalds in Welshpool, the floor sucked at my shoes. The server would rather rib his friend who came in after me than take my order. He gave me a cheeseburger when I asked for a quarter-pounder with cheese. He counted the change laboriously. The fries must have sat in the sieve for a long time for they were cold.
xxxThat was in 2002, when the Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee, New Labor was losing its shine, and Nelson Mandela called Tony Blair "America's Foreign Minister." When I walked out of the joint, I had decided to go where real power resided. Since then I have discovered that the superpower does fast food badly too. That the corner where McDonalds is done the way McDonalds should be done is Singapore.

24. Things that Tilt

xxxThe Empire State Building in a snaphot. Rain. All the strokes of the letter W, upper or lower case. The fingers of the Bharata Natyam dancer.
xxxTo observe something tilt is not to be a part of it. An airplane takes off and I am pressed against the seat, towards the earth. I want to fly, which is why I bought the ticket, but my body obeys an opposite force. Leveling in the air, like on the ground, permits the attendant to wheel out the food trolley. This is necessary but not interesting.
xxxEarthquakes. Turning forty.


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