Friday, August 19, 2011
Enjoy Your Troll
The strangeness of watching Hoarders on A&E and then going to an antique mini-mall the very next day cannot be overestimated. So much of what we have has significance far beyond its actual worth. I recently bought a friend a birthday card with a cartoon depicting the Dali Lama's birthday where he's opening a box and says, Nothing -- just what I wanted! My friend is a minimalist in all things and will appreciate the sentiment. But most people I know tend to go the opposite direction and love the physical world for its meaning -- I wore this when I got my first job, I had this since I was five, etc. Things represent possibility and hope, I thought as I trudged down the aisles of of the mall that contained stores with names such as Treasures Remembered, Time Doesn't Forget (that sounds like a noir novel title), and so on. I wanted to have my own Faulkneresque store called "The Past Isn't Really The Past" but alas I am also a minimalist and tend toward purging rather than keeping. Even so, I find myself overcome with the same urge that drives this business -- wouldn't that pink Depression tea set be cool for a party? Wouldn't that light be awesome in a house where it was the center? Lives I will never lead run through my mind. At those moments, I want to lead them, no matter how impractical. I want to be a certain kind of person. I remember the first ad that worked on me in this way, an ad for some sort of lingerie which depicted a beautiful old house on a rainy day with a record player in the background, playing sad jazz songs. I could be that kind of person! I could have rain, jazzy, clothes drying on an inside line, swaying in a breeze.
Sufficed to say, I have not become that kind of person. I am a person who has seen the insides of laundromats, who has waited months to stuff everything in her own washer/dryer combo and hoped it didn't come out the size of a shrinky dink. While I enjoy jazz, I never put it on a record player while it's raining. Usually I'm doing unglamorous errands in the rain, cursing at CVS and whatnot. But the magic of the mini mall did do its trick and I did not leave empty-handed. I saw Marcy! Marcy, my plastic girl mouse doll with overalls in amongst a bevy of trolls. Marcy, an Easter present in 1976. Marcy returned to me with her Proustian rush of longing. Under twenty dollars, she was a steal for such sweet gladness to return me to the past. I bought her and the cashier said, Enjoy your troll! Which I've been doing in some ways my entire life.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I've got to run to keep from hiding." Greg Allman
Season Five of Dexter is out on dvd -- weekend planned!
Benedictions and Maledictions