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14 November 2008 @ 09:05 pm
Lost things and the end of snivelyzashuns  
There is a piano in my room. I do not play. It is old, and has not been tuned during my lifetime. It belongs to the landlord, who lived upstairs but didn't want to pay movers to move it up there. Or rather, it belonged to the old landlord, and it may belong to the new landlord, because the new landlord is the daughter of the old landlord and the old landlord doesn't live upstairs anymore on account of being dead.

The piano is in the corner behind a trunk and my TV cabinet.

A few days ago my cat decided that she wanted to be on top of the piano. My cat is not the most graceful of her species. She is a little chunky. She sometimes undershoots when she jumps. When she doesn't make her jumps onto a bed, she claws her way up the blanket.

There are things on top of the piano. Some of them are books. Some are papers. None are blankets.

So I went behind the TV cabinet to retrieve the things that had been on top of the piano, and found several that had apparently fallen in between some time before. There was an album I'd been looking for—Il Berlione's self-titled debut—and old programs from the Cal Animage anime club, which I was a member of when I was in high school and anime fandom still involved a lot of tape trading. And flyers from old animation festivals.

When I was a child my parents would sometimes take me to animation festivals at the local art house: the late, lamented UC Theater. I remember watching shorts like Pixar's Luxo Jr., Aardman Animation's Creature Comforts, Bill Plympton's Your Face, the Oscar-winning Balance, and several less well-known pieces.

I picked up one flyer and opened it. Right in front of me was a still from a short I had been looking for off and on for years, and had thought of as recently as this Halloween. I had been unsuccessful in my search because I could only remember that it was stop-motion, creepy, and titled Door—not the most helpful search string. But here, listed under the title, was the animator: David Anderson. I now had enough information to find it online.

And I did.

It is strange, funny, and unsettling. The visual of keys skittering across the ground like insects has stayed with me all these years.

Drooling Fan Girldroolfangrrl on November 15th, 2008 06:46 am (UTC)
russ: zengoulo on November 15th, 2008 11:09 am (UTC)
Cool, I remember seeing that years ago too!

I saw in the description the name "Hoban" and wondered if it was Russell Hoban who wrote a cool strange novel with very altered English called "Riddley Walker" I read even more years ago, and sure enough it is. Small world.
gwalla: king crimson fingergwalla on November 15th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
There is apparently also a companion piece, titled "Deadsy", which I have not yet seen. I believe it's on YouTube as well.
Tygerstormteller on November 15th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
Reminds me of a story.

Guy bought a house, very old victorian house, and noticed one of the walls was different. It sounded hollow and the wallpaper was too fresh and it just felt different. And there was an area in the interior of the house he couldn't find, about twenty square feet of house that was missing, like there was a room you couldn't get to. So he started to put two and two together. And one day he got some tools and tore down that wall, and behind it was an old, old door, locked. When he bought the house, there were a bunch of keys and one of them was an old skeleton key, while the rest were modern keys, the house's locks having been updated long ago. The previous owner said she didn't know what the skeleton key was for, but she kept it on the keyring anyway because it didn't seem right to just throw it away.
Man put his head against the door and he could swear he heard breathing! So he took that key and put it in the door and opened it. Inside was a bare, square room and in the middle was a rocking chair with an old woman in it. He couldn't see the woman 'cause she was facing away but he saw her white hair, like dead roots, poking over the rocking chair, and the chair rocked back and forth soundlessly on the wood floor. He cleared his throat and said something introductory, and the rocking stopped. And the old woman very, very slowly turned around.

The next day some friends came over to see the man, but they couldn't find him, even though his car was still there and the lights were on. They looked all over the house, but he was nowhere. But then someone noticed a wall that looked funny, like the wallpaper was too fresh, and they swore they could just barely hear breathing on the other side...