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Pickle Me This

July 7, 2021

Grinding Sharpening

For years, the knife sharpening van has existed on the margins of my experience, an uncanny ringing in the distance, slowly moving up and down the streets of our neighbourhood, slightly sinister. The idea of waving him down with a handful of knives always seemed awkward to me, and so I never have, and so all of our knives are dull dull dull.

The knife sharpening van makes a cameo appearance in my first novel, Mitzi Bytes, underlining the danger inherent in ordinary lives.

We were having a conversation about the knife sharpening van, its elusiveness, and our dull kitchen knives as recently as yesterday.

And then tonight we heard the tell tale clang clang clang, and ran out the door, knife wielding maniacs. “Stop, stop!” And he did!!


And it did not even open up a portal to another dimension.

It did, however, generate considerable sparks.

And someone is likely to slice open their hand in our kitchen within the next few days.

It was really and truly magic.

July 8, 2008

Fits and starts

It’s been a strange day, and I’ve got stitches in my mouth. I’m also a bit doped up, and all of it has been sort of fascinating, however awful. That I’ve been bored, all afternoon. And I am never bored. I firmly believe that boredom is the jurisdiction of the lazy (or of those who forget to carry at book at all times). But this afternoon I’ve not been able to concentrate on very much, save the daring feats of squirrels outside my window, crossing and crisscrossing the street via tightrope power lines. That I’ve been unable to read very much at all, can you believe it. I was reading Marilynne Robinson before, but she requires more attention and care from her readers than I have energy to offer her now. I did listen to the podcast of Lorrie Moore reading her story “Paper Losses”, which is sort of wonderful, actually, as I can’t think of any other day in which I would have cleared the space. In fits and starts, I’ve been rereading Justine Picardie’s If the Spirit Moves You, which is just the ticket, I think, for my current state of mind. I also read another story today, which I hated– the danger of linking books and experience– mainly because I was taking out upon it my “mild discomfort”. But I’m also sure it sort of sucked. And the story will therefore remind me of excruciating pain as I long as I shall live.

I am turning my evening over to the benevolent force of the DVD.

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