Stealing The Scream
By Monica Youn
It was hardly a high-tech operation, stealing The Scream.
That we know for certain, and what was left behind--
a store-bought ladder, a broken window,
and fifty-one seconds of videotape, abstract as an overture.
And the rest? We don't know. But we can envision
moonlight coming in through the broken window,
casting a bright shape over everything--the paintings,
the floor tiles, the velvet ropes: a single, sharp-edged pattern;
the figure's fixed hysteria rendered suddenly ironic
by the fact of something happening; houses
clapping a thousand shingle hands to shocked cheeks
along the road from Oslo to Asgardstrand;
the guards rushing in -- too late! -- greeted only
by the gap-toothed smirk of the museum walls;
and dangling from the picture wire like a baited hook,
a postcard: "Thanks for the poor security."
The policemen, lost as tourists, stand whispering
in the galleries: "...but what does it all mean?"
Someone has the answers, someone who, grasping the frame,
saw his sun-red face reflected in that familiar boiling sky.
I still have no rental car and the adjustor has still not looked at the van. Tomorrow I am getting a rental car even if I have to call several insurance agencies and scream like a screaming thing. End complaint, because otherwise my day was pretty good: since I had no vehicle, I could make other people do my bidding. So my mother drove our older son's carpool from the bus to Hebrew school and home, my husband took our younger son to the orthodontist and then to violin, while I got
But I would be lying if I pretended I was not still stressed, and headachy from the stress, and mad at myself for being stressed and headachy over things I cannot really do anything about besides calling insurance agencies and screaming like a screaming thing. Instead I will talk briefly about things that made me smile, like
I did start working on my holiday cards, which are half-addressed. And I am delighted to have rediscovered the art of drabble therapy. Today, another
Also, in my distraction I forgot to mention that I loved Smallville yet again last night. Ever since the show embraced its badness, it has been so good! Or at least so much fun! I must have a sound file of Clark saying, "Lex. Use me." (No, of course it doesn't mean what it sounds like but ohh my, who cares.) There were two separate moments where Lex was obsessing over Clark that made up for the bad Lana stuff, the bad Jason stuff, the incredibly bad and cliched Chloe stuff, and some parental dialogue that was so bad, I thought it must be a Clark nightmare about Martha and Jonathan instead of reality. Interesting that Lex's greatest fear is a vision he never saw in a previous season that I recall -- I thought it would be his dad finding out he's 1) gay and 2) in love with an alien. Oh wait, he hasn't quite figured that out yet. Officially.
Now this is a big bird -- an emu in the African plains exhibit. (I think I already explained that we did not actually get to the bird house due to the construction, so the birds we saw were either on display in regional exhibits or local outdoor fowl -- lots of ducks, including some very interestingly colored ones in the seal enclosure, and some of the black-crowned night herons that, hearing their cousins inside the flight cage, moved into the zoo and Rock Creek Park nearby).
A scarlet macaw hiding in the greenery in Amazonia. In addition to spectacular birds and amphibians, there are enormous trees, both real and reproduced so the animals living there can't damage them to the point that the exhibit would have to be closed, and the vines you can see here.
Those lucky birds in the Amazon exhibit get to land on this tree -- my favorite in all the world!
And these are some of the birds that inhabit the Elephant House. Sometimes they sit on the elephants themselves, though these were on the rocks in the enclosure with Shanthi and Kandula.
And gacked from my newest friends list victim,