Sunday, December 18, 2011


My mother's last name was Loie.  Her ancestors came from the Alsace/Lorraine region of France.  Loie is an Americanization of L'Oie.  My wife's maiden name translates to Swan by the Lake. Strange that the two important women in my life are a swan and a goose.
 copyright -Seven Roads Gallery 2011, all rights reserved

Mom never changed her name after the brief encounter with the ne'er-do-well that was my father.  In the present day that's not unusual.  My daughter didn't change her maiden name after she married.  The other daughter didn't have to change her name because the Hun she married had the same last name. Go figure.  My son is in a serious relationship. If he marries, he'll probably be the one to change his last name...

...The customer who enters the store after the Albatross Man remarks,

"Didja know there's a dead seagull  stuck beak first in a post in the parking lot next to your store."

I offer a disgruntled, "No, I didn't know."

I put those wooden posts there to mark our precious, four reserved parking spaces.

The Chinese say that the first transaction of the day mirrors the remaining portion of the day. There is no green space for a proper burial of the seagull.  Pavement in the form of concrete or asphalt cover the parking lots on either side of the building, circa 1875, and every available inch of usable space.  There's a one-way street in front of the store and an interstate highway spur on concrete pillars above the ground level.  It makes for a lot of noise and no green space. Not a tree, not any grass, not even weeds. The old oak wine barrels I planted geraniums and petunias on a pleasant May morning outside the front door were unceremoniously dumped over, flowers discarded like weeds and stolen early one morning when pedestrian and car traffic was non-existent.

I ponder the alternatives, choosing the one that wouldn't have me closing the store and walking the mile to my parking space in order to bury the bird along the lakefront.  The thought of the police stopping to question me about the dead bird in my hands is a deterrent.  I toss the bird behind the eight foot high pile of snow the plows have pushed near the building. In the course of the winter, the bird moves with the help of front loaders and snow plows to new burial places each time there is a new snow.

The Chinese were right. the rest of the day becomes a saga of strange, odd and unbelievable.  When Dawn arrives after work she removes the Albatross Man's discarded clothing.  The energy in the store changes immediately.  


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