• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 01
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This is our city

We were talking and I said that well if you hate this city so much, and if you could perfect this city that we live in, then what is it you would do, anyway? And you said, Well, we could maybe cut pictures out of magazines and newspapers and stuff and make a little city that showed the way it could be, and I said, Ok, that’s a good idea.

So we got the magazines out from the magazine rack, all of them years old because no one gets magazines these days, and we started cutting out pictures of this and that and then we cut up a cereal box and we were gluing the pictures onto the cardboard of the cereal box, then we got toothpicks and glued the toothpicks to the cardboard so the pictures would stand up on the kitchen table.

And we built the little city this way and we were laughing and I said, Are you really adding this? And you said, Are you really adding that? And when you put the lighthouse on the table I said, Oh, what? And you said, What, are you not going for the lighthouse? And after I asked you how many cities you knew with lighthouses and you said that that was why this city, our city, was so much better than the actual city we lived in, I told you that you were a genius.

And our city needs geniuses, I said. That’s when you said, What city? This city? And you waved your arms in the air, indicating the city all around us, outside this kitchen, outside the warmth and light of this kitchen, Or, and you waved your hands towards our little city, the one on the table, the one with the lighthouse, the perfected city of our imagination, and said, This city?

I felt sad and you looked sad and all I could think to say was that this is our city, carefully leaving it ambiguous which city, real and unsatisfactory or imagined and perfected, I meant. I’m like that. I just thought I should explain.