Previously not featured on Talking to the Walls: last week Stoker and I drove fifty thousand miles across the southwestern deserts to end up here, in the heart of the desert. Why would anyone live here? And on purpose no less? I have no idea, but if you’re looking for strip malls, this is the place. I think the strip mall originated here.
Anyway, in a nutshell, we pulled a full U-haul trailer behind my little 4-cylinder Tacoma, with the bed and extra-cab stuffed with years of accumulated stuff (I’d say shit, but I’m trying to curb the cursing), and we also put more stuff in the Mazda 626. All that stuff makes me think of a Billy Collins poem:
There is no need for me to keep a skull on my desk,
to stand with one foot up on the ruins of Rome,
or wear a locket with the sliver of a saint's bone.
It is enough to realize that every common object
in this sunny little room will outlive me—
the carpet, radio, bookstand and rocker.
Not one of these things will attend my burial,
not even this dented gooseneck lamp
with its steady benediction of light,
though I could put worse things in my mind
than the image of it waddling across the cemetery
like an old servant, dragging the tail of its cord,
the small circle of mourners parting to make room.
Great, isn’t it? I think so. It relates because there we were, dragging a heavy U-haul, with the bed of the truck laden as well, with objects we’ve gathered in our meaningless lives to give us weight and to tie us to the earth … so important and every one of those objects cold, unfeeling and—in spite of all my Disney or Brave Little Toaster imaginings—completely ungrateful to be dragged along. It’s just funny. Tragic in a way, but funny.
I got the copy of the poem off the internet, which means if there are any mistakes they’re not mine. Incidentally I don’t have the collection this poem comes from (Questions About Angels, but I have all the others) and so I don’t know how the original reads.
Currently: we’re trying to find jobs, so if you ask, I’ll tell you I’m depressed. Stoker seems to have found one (Stoker who is wandering around the apartment muttering things to himself in Spanish). Well done, Stoker. As for me, I’m looking for anything. Well, not anything, anything. But rather than hold out for a corporate job, I’ll take a job at a bookstore or music store (which, depending on where I get a job, is corporate in another way). That’s what I love anyway, and from my earliest years have thought it would be heaven to work at a library or bookstore. When I was 19 or 20 I applied at the Barnes and Noble by my house and the bastards turned me down (not that they even interviewed me. They just never contacted me and I didn’t think to call them because I was 19). They were such elitists, I still hold a bit of a grudge. Now I have my M.A. and I’m over-qualified, but willing to take the pay cut because a retail job strikes me as healthier than a desk job. In fact, my legs have been aching the past week, out of too much use, I think.
But regardless of the fact that I don’t have a job, hallelujah we have the internet!
p.s. Mesa isn't really hell. It's quite nice once you get used to it.