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More About an Ax

February 18, 2014

Finally, it was an exciting day The Bridge. Unable to make it there until after seven o’clock, I arrived to find a small gathering in front of the gallery. A prominent local radio personality and expert camper was preparing a meal for Anthony on an open fire he had built right there on the asphalt of the parking lot. I learned that people had been loitering there all afternoon, drawn by the warmth of the sun and by an instinct toward fellowship. Anthony kept company with his public from the open doorway, occasionally communicating through gesture. Twenty-one people stopped by for a question. The little girl I mentioned yesterday came back with a valentine for Anthony, all hearts and misspellings. Some prominent local musicians sang for him. A passing hippie expertly split wood for the fire, then continued on his way. Dogs patiently nosed about. The meal prepared by the radioman was, as I can confirm from a few bites of my own, delicious.

–from “Restivo Watch Day 14: Snickers” (2/18/11)

When you think about it, viruses are absolutely amazing. These infinitesimal little nothings, with no autonomy or initiative of their own, are the greatest burglars and hijackers in the known universe. And yet it seems that they have nothing better to do with their talents on this occasion but make me feel shitty for a few days. Not that I am complaining that these particular fellows are not following the game plan of some of their cousins by, for example, killing me. That is appreciated. It just seems like such a trifling way to express such extraordinary magic, with phlegm, chills, and a tickle in the throat.

They kept me from enjoying a pretty nice day outside, though not as nice as the one three years ago, particularly after sunset. I could have sworn that I was there at the Bridge that day in the sunlight, but the record shows otherwise, another demonstration of the caprice of memory. It was a lovely evening. As you might have guessed, the secret protagonist of our story, the Fiskars ax, turns up here in the hands of the passing hippie. This is the debut I wrote of earlier. It is a shame how things turned out later that night.

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