This is not your everyday historical post. This is a special kind of historical post inspired by Jennifer Ward and "creeping through the crypt". In a conversation about her reading through some of my archives, we thought a regular post called Creeping through the Crypt wherein old posts are re-posted in the present for amusement's sake should happen.
And now it is so! A veritable time capsule of words! A moment that defies the space-time continuum. MAGIC. On this day in 2004...
There is a board across the patio door. The reasons for this are mysterious and possibly varied. Rumor has it that they're replacing our collapsible balcony with one more likely to hold the weight of a human. The board across the door must be related to that. It might be to keep tenants from spying on the workers and their secret balcony-replacement techniques. It might be to keep the workers from spying on pot-hazed tenants without jobs. It might be to keep those inside from falling out. It might decorative. Sort of a Construction-Chic Transitionary Piece, if you will. Of all the potential explanations, I think the most likely is keeping those of us on the inside from falling out. Which, if you think about it, is also the most stupid. If you're stepping out onto your balcony in the dead of night or half-asleep without looking, you need to rethink that strategy. First, there are three doors to get through. That alone should shake you into some semblance of alertness. Second, who steps over a rail and doesn't look to the other side? Third, if you fall you only fall six feet to the balcony below. Not even a Hobbit could commit suicide in six feet.
The board across the patio is very distressing to Poe, however. Her feline pea-brain can't handle this new input. She sits daily at the patio with her paws up on the rail and watches the birds taunt her from beyond the screen. This is how life is. Then today, no birds. No sky. Nothing but board. I realize that as a cat owner I'm supposed to extol the virtues of my cat's superior intelligence but the truth of the matter is that it's not that hard to flummox Poe. She will still sit at the patio, paws on the rail, and watch the board. Her single cylinder brain stubbornly keeps firing the "watch the birds" instruction and without higher reason or at least grey matter the size of a walnut, she's lost. Adrift in an apartment that no longer makes sense. She watches the birds but the birds are now flat, unmoving, and brown.
On the plus side, it's a lot darker in the apartment.
On the downside, after two years of wobbly relations and misplaced trust, I don't think I can ever truly feel comfortable with my balcony again. It hasn't been very faithful. I can't rely on it at all. How do you mend a two-year rift in a single day of hammering? It's not that simple. Trust must be earned. The balcony has a lot to atone for.
- Corinne Simpson