Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Basket weave stitching with John-John

“I’m taking up needlepoint”, she said in between two sips of red wine. Or mumbled really, as she had hardly swallowed the first gulp before she started to speak, and therefore had to tilt her head backwards, and draw her lower lip inwards in order for the wine not to trickle down her chin as she spoke.

She had been out for a stroll in the early afternoon and had found a needlepoint book with Walt Disney characters in the $1 book carts outside Strands on Broadway. The book was slim as a whistle, and partly damaged in the spine of its binding, and so it was a wonder she had seen it in the first place, as it stood there clenched and camouflaged among a bunch of other more substantial looking books. As she wiggled it loose it had occurred to her that she was already familiar with it, in fact had grown up with it. That is not to say that creating Disney characters in needlepoint had been an essential part of her upbringing, but rather that the book had been there all along, in one of the bookcases in the long hallway that connected all the rooms of her mother’s first house.

The book had been published in 1976, and when realizing this was in fact the birth year of her older sister, she gathered her mom had gotten it either prior to or just after she was born. Perhaps her mother had made a pillow- or blanket-case with a Disney figure on it of some sort. Or had made plans to rather, because she had no recollection of ever having seen one.

After a couple of minutes of browsing she had put the book back on the cart, but eventually returned to buy it and hour or so later, deeming that since no one had picked it up in the meantime, she was meant to have it. It was the thought of getting a book that she in way already possessed, which had kept her from getting it the first time around, as well as the fact that she had never really cared for needlepoint, much less ever tried it before. In any event, that was why she was now sitting by the dinner table with the book in front of her, opened on page 56-57 with a picture of a Dumbo tennis racket cover.

“This is the one I have decided to make” she said and pointed at the picture of a curry-colored cover with a light blue Dumbo with black contours holding a tennis racket in his elephant trunk.

“But you don’t even play tennis do you?”, John-John asked half-jokingly, knowing quite well that she didn’t. He reached out for the book, put his left index finger on page 57 and gave it a powerful swirl that caused it to lie face up in front of him on the other side of the table. “Why don’t you make something you can actually use? Like….the Pinocchio waste basket? Or the Captain Hook dart board?” he said after having settled on page 53.

“Well, I don’t play dart either, do I, and I’m trying to eliminate the amount of waste I produce, and I don’t think that having a waste basket is going to work as an incentive in that regard. You know I find such immense pleasure in going through my things and getting rid of papers and stuff. Actually, you know what? Just yesterday I set up a g-mail account and in the confirmation email they sent me, they informed me that my inbox is able to contain so-and-so many megabytes, implying that I will never again have to delete another email. Just keep them, the whole lot of them, can you imagine? But as if I would, you know how I hate to keep things I’m not in use of, not to mention what people would think if they saw the amount of porn I subscribe to”.

More red? Let’s put and end to this bottle so we can throw it away”, she said as she emptied the bottle into his glass.

“And now darling” she whispered with an excited voice, holding her hands close to her mouth as if to soften what she was going to say. “Tell me what really happened? Do you think you had a curse? And did I ever tell you my mother was hospitalized for appendicitis here in New York in the very same hospital where you mother was treated and at the very same time? Columbia-Presbyterain was it? And ooo, did you play tennis while you were alive? I’ll soon have a racket cover I wont be in need of...Oh you did?! Oh, come hell and high water, you sure did live life to its fullest!”

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