Tribute to eating pie…
I was pretty hungry when I arrived at the local pie shop for breakfast.
Cars, trucks, buses buzzed past, and motorbikes, passers by -the cha ching of the cash register affirmed that this mornings takings were on par. I thought about how things cha ching when they get registered. Life I pondered at that was as an array of many things. It was then I began to dig into my pie with gusto. I glanced through the window to see a new cafe across the road Tribeca NYC. It was displacing as I thought about New York for a moment too, and the time I ate at Andrews’s cafe with my family once. It seemed an odd name for it being here and not there, but of course this is the trend now, to name things like this, to take us to other places I guess, it’s funny how now you can be many places at once.
Like I was right now, I was sitting in an eating nook chowing down the latest chefs creation. It was a ‘green Thai curry chicken’ pie, and I must say for breakfast it worked quite well. Pie flavours have come along way since the simple meat pie with tomato sauce, often referred to here as. In Australia as ‘dogs eye and dead horse’. How on earth could anyone really understand this expression that are on vacation oh my silly Aussies they might think.
A Chinese wind chime sung out chords of every new customer that arrived. This was useful to indicate customers arriving because in the morning the shop assistant assured me. Miss Raven hair as I named her then ‘She might be out the back baking, and as she worked alone, till around midday most of the time, well, that’s if the other girl ever did turn up….’ She offered this and wiped her hands on her apron as she continued distractingly. I guessed she was inferring that the other girl was always late.
‘ Where was my husband?’ Miss Raven hair then enquired.
She had ‘Seen me here with him before?’ she was certain of that.
I told her I wasn’t married; well I was once but not anymore. Could have it possible we ate here back then, I dismissed the thought… She then went on to say as she cleaned the mess of pastry flakes, and soiled serviettes in the nook nearby.
‘Why don’t people care about the mess they leave behind, that their children leave messes’ and she added ‘Do you have children?’
Yes indeed I do, and then she apologised, like it was a mistake to have children, but maybe more for the fact that this might have offended me this comment she made. She liked me I think- as she grinned honestly.
‘That will be nine dollars and forty cents thank you, would you like to pay wave that? Have a nice day.’
I sipped my cappuccino, and then pondered existence- the traffic droning past, cyclists, early morning walkers, and customers cha ching chinging as they came and left, and continued on their way after a brief chatting to Miss Raven hair. All at once it began to blur as the tourist bus went by. And I drifted upwards watching myself sitting there on that very seat sipping coffee, what was the purpose of life, these comings and goings. I noticed from a particular angle my own raven hair was disguising the white flecks that were beginning to show, the way my body had become rounder, gravitating and heading towards the earth below me. It was strange as it occurred, and all of a sudden a sense of doom surrounded me as I was falling back to my seat. I became heavy as it was occurring ‘ baked egg, and breaky wrap & coffee’ the ‘closed’ and ‘rubbish bin’ signs all came into focus. Was I becoming part of what I read ‘closed’ ‘rubbish’ and I considered what if I ate a ‘ baked egg, and breaky wrap’? Time was warping, distorting, and all the noise started to make me sense an oscillation, and it felt rather sublime.
‘Two pies and a regular coffee thanks’
‘Would you like a cake with that?’
’No’ I shouted, no I don’t want a cake with that’
The customer, and Miss Raven-hair looked on perplexed.
I said nothing and smiled centring, and kept drinking my coffee, I started to wonder what was happening to me, and I kept seeing myself from different angles, and I started to drift away again. When I gathered my senses both the customer and the shop assistant were no-where in sight, like something had beamed them up. Vanished.
A car then bounced past then like it was jumping, and alive like some animal hopping, and all of a sudden I felt I was at a carnival, an old lady with red hair and hooped earrings, and a flamingo umbrella skipped past wearing a full-piece costume, I was sure then it was her gaze that was cursing me, and that perhaps she was a gypsy. That’s when the sirens began sounding interrupting the mood, and all the while I was think maybe they are coming to take me away ha ha.
You know this is just all imagined really, life isn’t really like that, or is it? I considered it was an array of chaotic thoughts colliding and crashing, at any given time. Time was slipping away, and I decided if I was going to make my deadline, I must be acting fast this was all illusory, and my story should be told. About now the coffee started to taste bitter, and cold, but I kept sipping it. I should be taking advantage of this downtime, as soon I would be back in the office. I was offered a newspaper from a lady in the eating nook beside me, and I accepted it, it had been a long time since I had got ink on my fingers. Miss Raven hair had slipped out to get today’s newspaper edition from the local IGA, nearby- a few customers came and left since there was no one to serve them. So I was reading yesterdays paper it would seem.
Yesterdays headline read BETTER OFF DEAD as much as I was curious to read it. I didn’t. What more could have it have said, that kind of covered it, I reckoned. The next page read ‘Mother dies in divining tragedy’ and I was getting really bored now, and was hoping that I could return from my altered state, maybe the caffeine was wearing off now?
The ink was starting to accumulate on my fingers, and I wanted to get on with this mundane business of reading of news, so I decided to skip to the back of the newspaper, somewhere between the classifieds, and sport/weather. Today I might add was a balmy 19-27 with possible showers, and as for sport I would rather play it than read about it, and as my sporting days were done already, and while I considered I do like to gaze at men who play sports and admire their well-sculptured bodies, I just don’t feel a connection with their minds. Not really. The whole thing just didn’t connect. No offence intended. So you see it’s how I came to be reading ‘tribute notices’. There were only a few in today’s edition I noticed in the ‘Death Notices’ ‘Funeral Notices’ and ‘In Memoriam’.
‘I would like a breaky wrap please, and how long will that take?’
‘That will only take one minute to make sir’ Miss raven hair announced politely.
‘Nine dollars, and ninety cents’
‘Would you like a coffee card with that, after six coffees sir, you get one free’
‘No thank you, I don’t really buy coffee here very often’
‘Well you can use it at any one of our stores’
‘No, but thank you anyway’
I then got back to reading again, and was grateful for the interruption, as with reading death notices takes time, time to digest the qualities.
Moneybank, James Jackson (Jacko)
Late of Castaway Island
Passed away suddenly, Friday, 10 April, 2015
Dearly loved Father of Gretel, Susan and Jacob.
Loved Brother Of Mildred Moneybank
For full funeral details, please refer to Saturday’s
Edition (18 April) Bulletin
Soft Touch Funerals
56 77 22 44
Hopeful, Betty Edith
Passed away peacefully on the 6th April, 2015
Devoted Wife of Garth (dec’d)
Loving Mother of Beatrice, Billy Bob and Sandra.
Sadly missed by all. Privately cremated.
(04) 66 3617
TODD, Dick Byron
1935- 11-4 2015
Darling husband and eternal friend
of Eloise Todd- Evans. Loving father of
Alexandra and Blake. Loving Opa of Jesse
And father-in- law of Letitia.
Thank you for those wonderful years,
The way you cared.
With us always in our heart you will stay,
loved and remembered everyday.
A celebration Of Todd’s life will be held at the
Geranium Chapel, Memorial Park.
Neways Boulevarde, Neways
On Friday the 13th April, 2015 at 1.00 pm
Donations can be made to Parkinson’s Research
I noticed in the corner of my eye a policeman came into the shop, his trusty gun in holster, he didn’t hang around long, but for a moment I was wondering had he come to arrest me, I have that feeling about police for some reason, anyway he just smiled, and asked Miss Raven hair for a meat pie and sauce. I didn’t hear him asking but I heard Miss Raven hair saying ‘Yes officer’ and handed him without charge, and a wink a ‘dogs eye with dead horse’ maybe this was code for free pies and under the table. I wasn’t quite sure as everything was becoming inaudible, dislocated.
Pffff I glanced to the wall beside me trying to focus, feeling quite ill, and dreadfully drowsy, there was an enlarged framed black and white photo I assumed were owners of this particular pie chain, they me stared me with beaming smiles and in white coats kind of accusingly, the picture was a bit over exposed so it was hard to see the details, but one could assume they were indeed proud owners once. I wondered then if they might still be alive, and in some aged care facility somewhere.
My heart was beating very fast now like it might explode. It must be arsenic in the coffee, or had I eaten a poisoned pie? Silly thoughts I know. So I got back to reading the tribute notices- ‘In Memoriam’ as more customers poured into the store. It was almost lunchtime. One lady was asking if all this was kosher, and Miss Raven hair assured them all the products here are kosher. Hmmm I was getting really sleepy now, sleepier than I have ever known before.
IN MEMORIAM I read on…
Adelaide, it’s only two weeks that you passed away,
I cannot say how deeply I miss you, how some day they say
The pain and agony will fade away
And every two weeks I will make tribute to you here
And that everyday I hope to see an image like you, and that you will guide me
Help me to stay strong, and someday we will be together again.
As I read this it was uncanny you know it was disturbing how it seemed something about me, I thought about the last time I saw Gabriel, and we said it’s time to end things, and we might never see each other again.
I started to choke then, and the sense of self –realisation it was about me. And while I was thinking all this I was being trolleyed out by the paramedics. Through the blurring of my vision Miss Raven hair waved me goodbye, thank you and enjoy your day. I had left my eating nook, past the clanging of chimes, and was drifting upwards and away, somewhere I had never been before, after eating that ‘poisoned pie’. I glanced back as everything faded and shifted out of sight, into the peripheral zone, and smiled at her waving too, and it was then I saw Gabriel standing behind her laughing. Or was that all imagined, well that was what the doctor said.
The last headline I ever read was ‘better off dead’ and I chuckled, taking that final breath as the ambulance took me for that speedy ride into the cloudless sky above. Ahhh.
In this attempt to convey a ‘sense of the self’, my work is experimental- a kind of poetic verse ensues. In the idea of filling a space like a painting is to the canvas as I view the world as art, or a viewing platform unfolding, painting by numbers style perhaps may describe my practice painting with words- inside the restrictions of a ‘word count’ for that academic platform it will present as problematic there are 2500 words to work with. The work is then divided mathematically into what I can fit inside this frame therefore I use a template for example in this it was five hundred words times five. Allowing five hundred for the exegesis. This leaves four scenes, or four possibilities to express that thing. My work often contains myself, as I become the camera perspective viewing/sensing different aspects/angles as well as becoming a narrator of thoughts processing…
This can be displayed as I become part of my surroundings, demonstrating this with words and images, in the character, and to finally be immersed inside the work itself, possibly mechanical, without thought. Inside states of on and off -if you will.
What triggers my responses to write is often born out of real events that I want to address the human condition/s, and allow a reflective repose of those feelings/emotions in a philosophical sense, sometimes our senses of discontinuity, and the constant reminder of what it means to be in the state of risk, of what it means to be embodied as flesh and blood beings, our human frailties- so to speak.
Inside this is an ebb and flow towards that kind of thing ‘Kitchen’ influences my writing in this attempt, taking breaths, and in –between states will remind hopefully for the reader about those influences, and will be lulled into ‘what is this kind of heterotopia’ without knowing what that is. I want to displace the reader, as they consider too, we are all in liminal states constantly of pondering our untimely death/s.
This real event is provoked, transformed to a fictionalised version to on-share a dark humour and mundane tone. In this case I recently learned about the death of a friend, and it was by accident I found it through a social media network. The shock, and dismay of knowing this is hopefully is represented using a nuance of obituary later in the piece. In conversation with the mother-this person that had passed away it reminded me, and inspired that nothing can prepare you for the death of your child at least in the chronological order of how life’s fairytale is imposed by society, she comforted me by saying don’t be sorry, and don’t cry, ‘it is what it is…’
So perhaps this is a tribute for us to be reminded life ‘is what it is…’ and also for my father-who passed not long ago who used to offer my children pies when we would arrive at his home un-announced sometimes. So at times it’s making mock.
In using a position of reality I wanted use a real situation, so while eating a pie from the local pie shop, that I actually did deliberately to become the character, and write automatically in the real-time, and at the same time too finding the characters own obituary after eating a ‘poisoned pie’, and finally the knowledge she have might have already expired is schizophrenically expressed. In that finding it could be as if she was the ‘ghost in the machine’ of thoughts herself while reading it in a newspaper, and dying- representing a surreal experience of it at least for the reader. We all have experienced thoughts while eating pies I guess. In the end presenting a meditation of thought/s processing about eating pies, or anything for that matter, and our senses of self, and of mortality.