6 Insane (but True) Things About Chalk
Once, every classroom in America had a small square stainless-steel plated hole to the left (or right) of its blackboard. Into this hole, teachers dropped the nubbins of expired chalk sticks. Demolition experts consider it good luck to uncover a stash of chalky pebbles from its lifelong hideaway during school renovations. She who finds the chalk, as the saying goes, chains her fortunes to the shooting stars.
The chalk in my hand today was once infinite coccoliths formed by infinite coccolithipores swimming in the ooze of the ocean floor. Wait, no, that is the Cliffs of Dover. They are made by the radial and continuous arrays of shells of infinite coccolithipores. We don't know why the coccolithipores formed coccoliths within their golgi bodies. Just that they were beautiful.
On the White Cliffs of Dover--famously white from their striations of chalk and black flint--the fae hide themselves among the fissures and crevasses. It is not the cliffs themselves that guard Albion from invasion, but the sprites with white hair and black boots who have carve arrows from birches and stand always at the ready, their bows notched and elbows high behind their pointy ears. They mark their kills as chalk hashes on their tiny fay belts.
When he was held in solitary confinement in the White Tower of the Tower of London, Ranulf Flambard counted the days by making hashmarks on the wall near the floor behind the door with a tiny piece of chalk. One hundred and 73 chalk marks later, he made his escape. He pulled a long silk rope from a flagon of wine, watched it roll lusciously from the window, and followed it down.
Beneath France, the crayères hold thousands of years of wine. The Romans carved caves in the chalk beneath Champagne to hide from Reynard the Fox and other native trickster gods. Reynard found them and replaced them with his barrels of champagne. No one knows how many chalk caves history has carved into the earth and forgotten. While some of the wine has no doubt spoiled, yet more may still be palatable. Bubbles do not spoil.
The sidewalk chalk is in a shoebox in the garage with the bubbles. Their love is a forbidden love, separated as they are by plastic wrap and moldering cardboard. But they smell the spring, and feel the air of an open garage door. Their time approaches.