Dream of the Dragon

Category: environment

Deer crossing.

by Justin

The wind chill today pushed the temperature into single digits, making the earth outside hard as concrete and the streets more desolate than ever.

Whippets, by rights of centuries of breeding and manipulation, live to chase down small animals. Rabbits are the ideal quarry, but squirrels and anything of a similar size are nearly as mind breaking. My dog’s instincts fly into overdrive and the bits of his brain reserved for listening to me disintegrate whenever the opportunity to chase arises. Curiously, as Icarus is wary of anything larger than a cat, a particular animal much larger than most dogs causes a similar abandonment of reason. Deer, sighted even at a great distance, threaten to make the pup spiral into madness.

Three deer gathered this morning around a large puddle covered by a thick layer of ice. Two were chewing the dying grass, the third was sipping the dregs of unfrozen water. Only once we got within 20 feet did they do anything other than perk their ears and stare. At that point, white tails raised, the deer leapt into the woods and vanished. Deer crossing roads and grazing outside homes offers that dreamy and dangerous juxtaposition of the untamed and the too-tamed.

WZW 1452

by Justin

Several hundred seagulls guarded the gates of what appeared to be a trash sorting facility. No signs named the place, no address could be seen to guide a visitor. The gulls rose and fell like waves of arrows atop every rooftop, flapping madly when large trucks rolled up to the central warehouse laden with treasure.

To the credit of the city, none of the characteristic smells of rot and chemicals wafted out. Although that may be indicative of some terrible and unsustainable efforts to keep the operation inoffensive.

A long, stumbling, and stupid endeavor to break fewer laws resolved itself today, owing much to the gracious professionalism of one woman trumping the trollishness of another. The moment was memorialized by seven characters, blue hammered into white: WZW 1452.

Sand tears and cockatrice kisses.

by Justin

MJ #3

Chicago visited the streets today. The wind off the ocean gusted at 40 mph and drove the temperature into the low 20s – enough to bring the first real nips of winter. The 10-foot spray of one inlet’s fountain lost its symmetry, bending hard to the south as if its hose were kinked.

A stone fawn (kissed by a cockatrice) crouched behind the weathered picket fence of a small yard, looking out across the street.

The following small sign marked the entrance to a restaurant, hailed locally as a great seafood dive: “Future National Historic Site.” It’s simple enough to be overlooked, as respectable and unassuming as a monument marker. But it inspires so many questions! Has this site been recognized by some national committee, and now it just awaits some formal opening? Are papers processing? Is someone betting that something of great historic significance will happen there? Did someone from the future plant it as a joke? A fortune-teller’s prediction? A prank? Where can I buy such a sign?

Odds are there was some famous landing of early settlers thereabouts, now celebrated by cheap drinks and seafood. The sign offered no elaboration.

Icarus cries sand tears most days – the product of launching himself wide-eyed at fallen frisbees. If he fails to catch it out of the air, he jumps into the beach itself with equal abandon. After each attack he coughs up a handful of slimy sand and his eyes are ringed by little crystals. The tears show up hours later, most often after a nap. Usually it’s one for each eye, a mixture of sand and salt water that solidifies at the edge of his tear duct like a soft stone.

This evening, for the first time, a sand tear formed and rested below the center of his eye.