Odin is talking to his wife on the phone.
“I’m walking down the river with your daughter from restaurant A [where no tables were free, author's note] looking for a place to have lunch. I’m starving and going to be in a bad mood soon if we don’t find something pronto,” she says.
“Okay,” Odin says.
A sleek, black crow watches him from the grass between the sidewalk and the street.
“A black crow,” says Odin. “I was gonna go somewhere sort of nice for lunch, to celebrate it being Friday, but I think I’ll just go to the supermarket and get a chicken-curry sandwich to share with the crows.”
And that’s what he does.
He also gets some macaroni and chicken salad.
Odin pays and leaves the store. The woman behind him in line pays and leaves the store in time to make the crosswalk with him, but then she screeches to a halt and returns to the store, because she forgot all her stuff.
Odin wonders what that was all about. He’s munching on the chicken-curry sandwich. In the store, he had a choice between fresh chicken-curry sandwich at the full price or half-price day-old chicken-curry sandwich. He chose the full price option because he was already getting half-price day-old chicken-macaroni salad, and someone else in his family already had food poisoning and he didn’t feel like pressing his luck, although he could stand to lose the weight.
He saved the crusts, with quite a bit of sandwich attached, for the crows.
Back at his regular bench, he sat and ate some salad and waited for Huginn and Muninn. He wondered which one would come.
Regular bench. Odin had a lot of regular things. Regular things reduce the necessity to speak. At his regular tobacco shop, he just hands the woman his lotto tickets, she runs them through the machine, shrugs and gives him new ones. Theoretically, she also pays him millions of Euro once every ten million visits. At his regular bakery, the woman starts his double espresso before he says anything. Once every ten visits he gets a free coffee, if he saves his stickers.
And not just theoretically.
Huginn and Muninn both show up at the same time this time.
He has saved two crusts, more like two sandwich corners. He tosses each crow a sandwich corner, with grace and accuracy, using each of his hands equally well.
Remember, Odin is a god, so he can do that.
Muninn, the black one, bites off part of his sandwich and hops over to a tree, by the base of which he eats what he has torn off. Then he returns for another bite, goes away again to eat it, and so on.
Huginn, the grey one, eats some of the chicken out of his piece.
Odin wonders if that’s closer to cannabilism or to humans eating pork.
Huginn carries away his entire piece and hides it in a shrubbery. Then he steals Muninn’s piece the next time Muninn hops away to eat a bite.
Well, now we know who the smart one is, thinks Odin.
He tosses some macaroni and chicken to the crows, and they eat that too.
“What say the slain?” he asks Muninn. He always expects him to answer, “they say, AAAAAAAAAGH.” Or, “hey, y’all, watch this!”
“Every moment is imperfect and fleeting and therefore beautiful and precious. Each one of us is imperfect and fleeting, yet an endless multitude. Come one come all. The slain will talk your ear off,” says the crow.
“What say the hanged,” Odin asks Huginn.
“Never trust a woman. Family will rat you out every time. Let’s get this over with.” Huginn shrugs, it looks like.
Odin tosses the birds some more macaroni. He gets up, throws wrappers, plastic fork and napkin in the trash and walks back to his office. He passes the sleek, black crow on his way there.
“Join us next time, and I’ll give you some, too,” he says.
The bird watches him cautiously out of one black eye.