Making the Rounds
Load up the car with this week’s garbage and head out. Stop at the post office, collect junk mail, toss it on the passenger seat, head for the dump, a busy place, unload it all there and leave. Down the mountain on back roads, past old barns collapsing into scenery, a couple of corn mazes, a haunted house. Wind up at the big junk shop not far from the river, cold dusty dark, crammed to the rafters with the dis-contents of strangers’ (maybe your grandparents’) attics and cleaned-out storage units and what’s left over from estate sales: knickknacks, books, vinyl records, tools quietly un-collecting themselves, bowling trophies, sweet and proper uniforms with medals of long forgotten service, arrangements of urges scattered by clip of scythe or snip of scissors, so many loose ends, threads leading to narrative nowheres, everything smelling of mothballs (even these words, take a whiff), past not present only the rusty here and now, can’t even find a decent wall sconce, the whole point of this journey.
So it’s off now to the grocery store where there’s no getting anywhere near the necessary eggs because of the old guy in dapper suit inspecting inside every single carton for breakage, not that he’s buying any of this, just looking for something to do on a Sunday instead of church, then another old guy, this one with few remaining teeth, causing some traffic problems at the checkout, unloading his cart full of cat food, when asked by the clerk why says “People move out, leave their cats, then I feed them,” pays cash, counting it out oh so very slowly, very carefully, till kingdom come, or go.
On the way home, suffering an ocular migraine, drive by the familiar burial ground active with the usual mementos, monuments rising from salvific nowhere, tying unknown things to known for no good reason, then continuing home on this antic twisted car ride to tale end.