One morning I woke up and found my favorite pigeon, Julius, had died I was devastated and was gonna use his crate as my stickball bat to honor him. I left the crate on my stoop and went in to get something and I returned to see the sanitation man put the crate into the crusher. I rushed him and caught him flush on the temple with a titanic right hand he was out cold, convulsing on the floor like an infantile retard.
The thing with me is, about that - about rock and all that - years and years of crate-digging, listening to old music, you kind of start to connect the dots. And I was seeing the thread that was connecting everything together, which is pretty much the blues. And everything soul or funk kind of starts with that.
I thought I would love you forever""and, a little, I may, in the way I still move toward a crate, knees bent, or reach for a man: as one might stretch for the three or four fruit that lie in the sun at the top of the tree; too ripe for any moment but this, they open their skin at first touch, yielding sweetness, sweetness and heat, and in me, each time since, the answering yes.
From behind a wooden crate we saw a long black-muzzled nose poking round at us. We took him out-soft, wobbly, tearful; set him down on his four, as yet not quite simultaneous legs, and regarded him. He wandered a little round our legs, neither wagging his tail nor licking at our hands; then he looked up, and my companion said: "He's an angel!"
Sometimes magnificent visual art takes root in the humblest of soils. Advertisements painted on old barns, tattoos, fruit crate labels, hot rod embellishments - all these media and many other non-galleried forms have hosted and fostered esthetic delights that satisfy any rigorous definition of art.
Paul Di Filippo
Thursday morning. I usually let my Mum wake me up but today I have set my alarm for seven. Even from under my duvet, I can hear it bleating on the other side of my room. I hid it inside my plastic crate for faulty joysticks so that I would have to get out of bed, walk across the room, yank it out of the box by its lead and, only then, jab the snooze button. This was a tactical manoeuvre by my previous self. He can be very cruel.
What does it mean to be a self-conscious animal? The idea is ludicrous, if it is not monstrous. It means to know that one is food for worms. This is the terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consiousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression and with all this yet to die. It seems like a hoax, which is why one type of cultural man rebels openly against the idea of God. What kind of deity would crate such a complex and fancy worm food?
More than 200 ships from 13 nations conducted over 10,000 flawless intercepts, which formed a steel wall around the waters leading to Iraq. And these operations continue today. Thanks to these superb efferts not one cargo hold, not one crate, not even one pallet of seaborne contraband even touched Saddam Hussein's shores. The result: Iraq lost 90% of its imports, 100% of its exports, and had its gross national product cut in half.
Our holiday food splurge was a small crate of tangerines, which we found ridiculously thrilling after an eight-month abstinence from citrus... Lily hugged each one to her chest before undressing it as gently as a doll. Watching her do that as she sat cross-legged on the floor one morning in pink pajamas, with bliss lighting her cheeks, I thought: Lucky is the world, to receive this grateful child. Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing.
Our holiday food splurge was a small crate of tangerines, which we found ridiculously thrilling after an eight-month abstinence from citrus.... Lily hugged each one to her chest before undressing it as gently as a doll. Watching her do that as she sat cross-legged on the floor one morning in pink pajamas, with bliss lighting her cheeks, I thought: Lucky is the world, to receive this grateful child. Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing.
Do you think she is?" Her voice trembled. Her heart throbbed as she waited for him to answer. "You think they've killed her?" Every moment wrapped around Scarlet's neck, strangling her, until the only possiblbe word from Wolf's mouth had to be yes. Yes, she was dead. Yes, she was gone. They'd murdered her. These monsters had murdered her. Scarlet pressed her palms into the crate, trying to push through the plastic. "Say it." "No, " he murmured, shoulder sinking, "No, I don't think they've killed her. Not yet." Scarlet shivered with relief. She covered her face with both hands, dizzy with the hurricane of emotions. "Thank the stars, " she whispered. "Thank you.
Dogs possess a quality that's rare among humans-the ability to make you feel valued just by being you-and it was something of a miracle to me to be on the receiving end of all that acceptance. The dog didn't care what I looked like, or what I did for a living, or what a train wreck of a life I'd led before I got her, or what we did from day to day. She just wanted to be with me, and that awareness gave me a singular sensation of delight. I kept her in a crate at night until she was housebroken, and in the mornings I'd let her up onto the bed with me. She'd writhe with joy at that. She'd wag her tail and squirm all over me, lick my neck and face and eyes and ears, get her paws all tangled in my braid, and I'd just lie there, and I'd feel those oceans of loss from my past ebbing back, ebbing away, and I'd hear myself laugh out loud.
For his lunch break, Alex decided to sit outside for a smoke. There was no break room to speak of, just a backdoor that led to a neglected parking lot and an old payphone. There was an upturned crate by the door used to hold the door open or to sit on if one so desired. But Alex couldn't sit down, even though he had been standing for the past four hours, his anxious mind kept his feet moving. He paced back and forth, smoking his cigarette with the speed of an anxious drug addict. The cool but faint breeze pushed the smoke away from him and dissipated it into nothing. He still felt angry about the run-in with Gonzalez. It had consistently poked at him like a curious sadist with a pointed stick ever since he walked away from the door slammed in his face.
Falling in love for the first time is a completely transcendent experience. It's like eating pizza-flavored ice cream. Your brain can't even process that level of joy. Love makes people do crazy things like kill other people or shop at Crate & Barrel. I think on some level it makes us all delusional. Deep down, our whole lives, no matter how low our self-esteem gets, we think, I have a special skill that no one knows about and if they knew they'd be amazed. And then eventually we meet someone who says, 'You have a secret special skill.' And you're like, 'I know! So do you!' And they're like, 'I know!' And then you're like, 'We should eat pizza ice cream together.' And that's what love is. It's this giant mound of pizza-flavored ice cream and delusion
Wyatt should've looked ridiculous sitting on the floor, leaning into the crate making kissykiss noises at the cat, but he didn't. He looked ... mouthwatering. 'Hey, sweet thing, ' he said in a low cajoling voice. 'Come on out. I'll gonna love you up, I promise. You know you want some of that.' 'Oh, please, ' Emily said on a laugh to cover up the fact that her bones melted at the sound of him. 'That's never going to work-' But hell if the cat didn't shift ever so slightly closer to Wyatt and sniff at him. Wyatt flashed both Sweetie and Emily a smile. 'Aw, that's it, ' he crooned to the suspicious, wary cat. 'Come on, baby girl, all the way. I'll be good to you, I promise.' Emily laughed again, even as she felt her nipples tighten. She crossed her arms over her chest. 'Honestly, Wyatt, no selfrespecting female - cat or woman - is going to-
Money, dished out in quantities fitting the context, is a social lubricant here. It eases passage even as it maintains hierarchies. Fifty naira for the man who helps you back out from the parking spot, two hundred naira for the police officer who stops you for no good reason in the dead of night, ten thousand for the clearing agent who helps you bring your imported crate through customs. For each transaction, there is a suitable amount that helps things on their way. No one else seems to worry, as I do, that the money demanded by someone whose finger hovers over the trigger of a AK-47 is less a tip than a ransom. I feel that my worrying about it is a luxury that few can afford. For many Nigerians, the giving and receiving of bribes, tips, extortion money, or alms-the categories are fluid-is not thought of in moral terms. It is seen either as a mild irritant or as an opportunity. It is a way of getting things done, neither more nor less than what money is there for.
But then, staring at the label on one crate, which read SWORD-CANE-DLUBECK SHOE TREE-HORA SUITS (3)-HORA ASSORTED HANDKERCHIEFS (6)-HORA Josef felt a bloom of dread in his belly, and all at once he was certain that it was not going to matter one iota how his father and the others behaved. Orderly or chaotic, well inventoried and civil or jumbled and squabbling, the Jews of Prague were dust on the boots of the Germans, to be whisked off with an indiscriminate broom. Stoicism and an eye for detail would avail them nothing. In later years, when he remembered this moment, Josef would be tempted to think that he had suffered a premonition, looking at those mucilage-caked labels, of the horror to come. At the time it was a simpler matter. The hair stood up on the back of his neck with a prickling discharge of ions. His heart pulsed in the hollow of his throat as if someone had pressed there with a thumb. And he felt, for an instant, that he was admiring the penmanship of someone who had died.
The fight unfolded like background noise. White noise. In the foreground, even with his ghastly pale face looking dead in my hands, my fingers clenching his ragged hair, all I could see was random images of Fang, not dead. Fang telling me stupid fart jokes from the dog crate next to mine at the school, trying to make me laugh. Fang asleep at Jeb's old house, and me jumping wildly on his bed to wake him up. Him pretending to be asleep. Me laughing when I "accidentally" kicked him where it counts. Him dumping me off the bed. Fang gagging on my first attempt at cooking dinner after Jeb disappeared. Him spitting out the mac and cheese. Me dumping the rest of the bowl on him in response. Fang on the beach, that first time he was badly injured. Me realizing how I felt about him. Fang kissing me. So close I couldn't even see his dark eyes anymore. The first time. The second time. The third. I could always remember each and every one of them. Would always remember them. Fang. Not. Dead.