Monday, March 01, 2004

Not dead yet.

Even though last week did kick my teeth in. Only after it sanded off my lips, with a belt saw, layer by layer. So whatever force created that set of unfortunate days, like the forces that drive an extra day into every four years maybe, sounds about as good as any valid reason. I'll bet it was the planet Uranus. Uranus just sounds like a problem planet. Regardless, as soon as the planets realign, last week will be nothing more than a memory and possibly a file in a permanent record somewhere. But for now, it's Monday. Pilates Day. Time to wring out a few toxic organs. Sounds much more relaxing compared.

But luckily, even the ugliest workweek meets its timely death, slain by the hope and splendor known as The Weekend. This weekend, my accidental escape came in the form of talking to nice people at flea markets, petting puppies, and asking numismatic questions at a coin show. Being around those varied people made me feel better. I talked to a farmer selling turpentine, a deejay who digressed in guilty lengths, a blossomed man still fragrant of last night's gin, and I even listened (oddly enough) very intently to one guy about metal detection. No, really. I listened to him like he was revealing the answer to something big. Something really big. Something bigger than Uranus.

(wait for laughter... two three... "But seriously folks...")

He had several long tables covered in red cloth and filled with civil war artifacts he'd found around the now quiet, sterilized suburbs of Memphis. I find that kind of thing extremely interesting because no found object over a certain age looks authentic to me. Me, the simple product of my simple and apparently historically incapable environment.

I locked my arms behind me and hovered my face inches over hundreds of old, browned objects which were laid out neatly in rows and piles -- like belt buckles, suspender clips and pins, spurs, hat badges, epaulets, and all sorts of coins and jewelry. Even bowls, knives and forks. I had to pick up the fork just to touch something, and I was surprised how heavy it felt even in its mangled state. He had drawn maps by hand noting the location of every single thing he'd found down to the last bullet. He had handfuls of hundreds of bullets. Especially bullets with teethmarks, the civil war's only anesthesia.

Oh and I knitted. I heard it's like meditation so I wanted to try it. My mom sent me a great book. Despite that, the basic learning process almost killed me at first, trying to quietly teach myself from these pictures with nothing but a week's worth of leftover burned out patience versus determination, but I got it. I can see how people think it's relaxing. It's not brainless, but it's just the world leaves your mind as it reduces down to one string to work with. You work the same basic stitches over and over, again and again, and at the end, you have something warm to show for it. If nothing else, I just want to knit one big red scarf.

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