Man, it’s freezing out.
But Odin doesn’t wear his hat when he goes to the store. He doesn’t want to make it any harder for the crows to recognize him, and he thinks a hat might do that. It sure freaks out his cats when he wears a hat.
So, no hat.
He buys honey-roasted peanuts and a baloney sandwich in a poppyseed roll. The crows meet him at the bench. Not immediately. He stands there for a minute eating peanuts before the first one, the grey one that reminds him of a duck, Huginn, appears on a telephone wire and swoops down for a piece of baloney sandwich.
Then the second grey one swoops down from the left and fights over another piece of sandwich with Muninn until Odin tosses them a couple more pieces.
For a while, they all hang out, eating silently.
Odin feels particularly unstuck in the multiverse today. All day, he has been slipping easily from one to another.
He is at a movie premiere with his daughter. Standing in the cinema lobby, they crack jokes and watch people, observing the different tribes that show up at movie premieres – the movie actors, the journalists, the photographers, the fans, the weirdos.
They wonder if they should buy popcorn. They agree popcorn should be handed out free at movie premieres. They count uncanny botox foreheads.
Botulinum toxin is the most lethal toxin there is, his daughter says. 100 mg would be enough to kill everyone in the world.
Like Odin himself, Odin’s daughter is a fertile source of useless facts. This makes Odin smile. He has been smiling all evening.
You might want to use 200 mg, though, just to be sure, Odin says.
His daughter has another thing in common with him, too: she attracts nuts. Odin realizes this when a little man appears in their personal space and asks her if she is an actress in the movie they are about to watch.
She laughs and says no.
The lobby is very crowded and noisy now, and the man talks fast, so Odin catches only a portion of what he says, but he hears him say that a local film festival always shows dramas, but never comedies or action films, because dramas are the cheapest. He has something white in the corner of his mouth.
Is that right, Odin says. He moves to stand between the little man and his daughter.
So they show dramas. And documentaries. Documentaries are even cheaper than dramas.
For a while, he tells them about a movie he recently watched. Odin runs through his entire repertoire of things you do to signal a conversation is winding down, but nothing works.
Finally, Odin says, well okay then, grabs his daughter and walks with her to another corner of the lobby.
At one point, Odin gets the autograph of an actress his daughter and he both like.
At another point, they watch the movie. It is okay. It is a comedy, not a drama, and they laugh a lot. Afterwards, the cast come onstage and talk for a while, then Odin and his daughter go home.
Although Odin is unstuck in the multiverse, he is not entirely without control.
On days like this, he can slip almost effortlessly from one universe to another.
He is in his car, realizing it is snowing.
He is riding a train.
He is someone else, in 1972.
He is a man waiting for crows.
He is watching a beautiful woman.
He is playing Arvo Pärt with his daughter – she plays the piano and he plays the cello. Then they give up and he switches to the singing saw and they play it that way, and laugh and laugh.
He is digging post holes with another man, holding a heavy motorized auger between them.
He is back with the crows.
What say the hanged?
Live it up.
What say the slain?
They say live it up, too.