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Monday, March 11, 2013

Paper Owls and Pool Tables

The dates, events and expressed 
thoughts in this story are true.

How you interpret the events 
is your personal choice.               

It was several months after the funeral of my grandfather, my mother’s father. My son was quietly lying in the playpen, which was standing close to my book case just below the tiny shelves I had put up to show off my collection of paper birds. I think all birds are lovely, in this area I am a bit more broad minded than my grandfather who was only fascinated by owls.
I was cleaning dishes in my "open plan kitchen" from where I could easily keep an eye on my child.  Nothing special was going on, just a nice domestic afternoon…. Until I spontaneously let go of whichever item I was washing. I stepped over to the playpen and picked up my dozing toddler, sensing something indefinite, yet clearly negative. I held my boy close to me, turning away from the playpen, surprised about my own action. “Plop” I heard behind my back. The head of my paper owl had popped off and fallen into the playpen, hitting the baby blanket with its sharp beak, right where my child had lain. I stared at the owl’s head from over my shoulder. “This is my grandfather” it flashed through my being, “trying to play a sick joke.”

The incident 'though small and without consequences stuck to me, so that evening at my mother’s house I told her about this strange ‘coincidence’ and the conclusion that had forced itself upon me.
We laughed at it. This kind of superstition is like using herbs. In small amounts they give spice to life, but too much is just bad taste.
Just moments later the phone rang. It was my uncle, my mother’s brother. 
Ynez, I guess I’m lucky to be alive. You never guess what happened to me today.”
Being the only son, my uncle inherited my grandfather’s pool table. Because of it’s impossible size the table was disassembled and the heavy tabletop was stored on the landing of the second floor, standing upright opposite the staircase.
“I was going downstairs and halfway down I heard a strange rumble. I looked back and saw the pool table coming after me. I didn’t make it downstairs, the table knocked me over and landed on top of me. My girlfriend had to help me crawl from under it. Oh m. G.. Ynez, It was as if my father overturned the pool table to hurt me.”

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