Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Mechanized Disaster

Milk Wood

Complete disaster! The snow machine had painted the alley in white and no one could go in or come out. What made it even worse was the sharp contrast between the narrow dirty dead end and the shiny whiteness of the snow. The neighbors were thrilled by the commotion! The last time they had this much fun was back in 1954 when Tommy, the baker’s youngest kid, decided to steal all the bras drying in the sun and run in circles in the alley holding them as if they were gigantic parachutes much to the mortification  of their owners. Mr. Robbins, who had rented the machine, was utterly humiliated. He simply could not grasp how such an efficient machine (he was a firm believer in mechanized modernity) had embarrassed him to this point. He even avoided looking up at Mrs. Peterson’s window, the frisky widow he had been trying to impress for the last couple of months and for whom he had organized this, let’s say, snowy event. It was to be a magical afternoon with snow falling just for Mrs. P. Little did he know that the darn machine would fail him so miserably. Today, as I sit here and write this story as it was told to me so many times by my mother, I still wonder how that dirty alley looked in white. My mother always added at the end of the story that “somehow painting the alley white did impress the widow, and she and Mr. Robbins found their way into each other’s lives; in a strange twisted way, modernity had not failed after all!”

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