Monday, March 6, 2017

The Quip

The Quip

The ‘retro-fitted’ ‘minimalist’ ‘expression’ is junk.  Your junk.  Just face it:  It is junk.  Even the stuff you claim you don’t have that you are keeping to refit and bring back at anytime as the searing; the abundance of junk that you claim you don’t have because you are minimally assorted with your ‘only old junk’ that you didn’t buy anyway.  Unless it is what you call ‘a good buy’.  This is better viewed as a ‘good bye’.
            That is really what it is; nothing that you ever did yourself.  AND you claim that you ‘clean up’ too.  That must be an obstacle; the looking at what you do not keep because you minimally retro-fitted this those of what’s left of what you have to not keep; a ‘that anymore too’.
            It is really so well thought out isn’t it.  Or... is it... “aren’t you”.
            I believe it is worded as ‘empty’.
            Just turn around and go back.  It is right that this is a wrong direction for you; stepping stones across that you must find out about yourself and study before you may relish.

            “Just put flowers in it and set it on a table”  Your mother always hinted that was the way to show “what an idiot you are”.  She was blunt.  Right?  So then don’t put it out with flowers in it.  “Don’t eat with a spoon.  Eat with a fork.”  You remember that.  Don’t you.  You didn’t have a mute button then did you.  So now she’s dead and you threw her things out.  “Donated” you called that.  All except for a few things that you are now calling “kept”.  Of course you don’t know where those are. “Out in the garage”.  Yes:  There we go.  Your thing is just “the Faberge Egg” of what you retro-fitted minimalist boxed up and stacked back there where she (your mother) now resides in the boxes of ‘her stuff’ you made for her.  “Tea Time” doesn’t happen anymore with her.  You donated the tea service and someone else IS using it “anymore”.  Remember that (the tea service)?  You were only six and learned to pick up sugar cubes using American Coin Silver Sugar Tongs.  That last part you ‘didn’t get’.  “What ever happened to those (tongs) anyway?”  Yes:  That is a question you need to ask about a lot of the junk you didn’t keep ‘anyway’.

            Go way back in your dreams to find the proper style you lost from your retro-minimal wreck.  Dreams:  The (commuter) Club Car.  The Tobacco.  The Suits.  The Old Money.  That last is the style.  You find it; two words.  CAN you find it.  Do you still have it?  Or did you ‘donate it’ (“throw it out”).  Remember:  It was all ‘just the way he left it’.  That day.  When you began to destroy it.  And destroy your self:  Minimal.  Empty.  That was his room.  “Office” the family called it.  At dinner time he came out of there.  The door was never closed.  It was full of tobacco smoke.  And always:  “What a mess”.
            He kept things in corners and pushed back against the walls.  Old tables with leaves up covered in reckless arrangements of... yes say it:  You see it now in your dreams...:  Old Money.  It was his style.  He never wore sandals.  He never went to a mall.

            Ashtray.  Still dirty after all these years; pipe tobacco leavings.  No one washed it.  He used it last.  You threw it out.  “NO:  I donated it”.  You say.  You are pushed back against the wall?  The chest of drawers there; against the wall.  Yes that one; it is buried there.  It is New England (made).  Boston area.  Seventeen eighties.  Old surface.  Old hardware.  Never cleaned.  Always used.  Five generations?  No... longer... Seven generations.  Pushed back against the wall.  He used it at Harvard.  He used it the day he died.  The top drawer was all pipes.  And tobacco.  Look at the generational dirty bottoms of the drawers (“drawer bottoms”).  And the fingernail marks (on the back of the drawer fronts) where he pulled it open further.  Then pushed the drawer back “in”.  Never closed.  The bottom drawer has everything he did at Swarthmore still in it.  No:  You ‘cleaned that out’ and ‘donated it’?  The chest is empty when you showed me the room.  Pushed back against the wall.  But too:  All from the drawers... is still on the floor.  “Let us put that (the drawer contents) back in” (the bottom drawer) I say.  We do.  Together we put as much of it (the old money) back as I possibly can.  Then:
            I buy ‘the whole room’ (contents of the room; ‘the office’).  I know what it is and what I am doing.  I am buying your old money.  You are selling old money.  That should be your style.  Now that you’re pushed back against the wall you do see that don’t you.  You could have kept “the things in it”.  You could have ‘just the way he left it’.  When I come back on Saturday, to ‘clean the garage’, you show me the room with the white wicker table you “painted” and “brought in”.  You do not mention the glass vase with the flowers in it.  “Oh” you say.  “It (the vase) is almost empty; I need to put some more water in it.”
            “I’ll start working (on removing your mother) out in the garage.”

            I don’t know what happened to the old chest after I filled it with my clutters and pushed it back against a wall.  I didn’t get the drawers to close well.  I do remember that.  Why?  I know why.  The old chest has all of its original (1780) drawer runners; the wooden slats that the drawers slide on (“run on”; “drawer runner”).  They are worn to ‘bee-Jesus’ but still work in addition to being ‘still there’.  I pulled one out to show it off; the four original handmade iron tacks.  The ‘outrageous wear’.  Only a (American Federal Period antiques) collector would care.
  All my old chests are that way... anyway.  Have to be... for collectors of American Federal Furniture.  Again:  Have to be... they do care.  Then one of them wanted to buy it.  “I’m thinking about that” he said.  “I’m thinking about that too.” I said.  “It came down in my family”.  “My father used it at Harvard”.  “He kept full of all his clutters and pushed back against the wall of his office.”  “Men do that you know; keep their clutters pushed back against the wall”.
            “It appears to be a fine early chest”.
            “The family had money back then:
            It’s untouched; just the way it’s come down through time”.
            “My wife wouldn’t like it; the drawers don’t work she’d say.  Dirty too.  She’d have to have it cleaned”
            “Then don’t buy it; don’t buy it for her.”
            “I’m not going to.  I’d buy it for me.”
            “Pushed back against the wall?”
            “My little wall in my little room”; (his office in the home).  “I’d fill it with my clutter”.
            “Clutters; you have more than one”
            “Don’t I just.”
            “The old money”.
            “Yes: The old money... don’t I just.  My father was in World War Two.  My grandfather was in World War One.  My great grandfather rode with Teddy; I still have his papers in a box.  My great, great, great grandfather was brevet a general in the Civil War.  Then he invented a machine that knitted women’s stocking.  Our family has been in the bank ever since.  Now that is old money.  Isn’t it?
            “These days it will pass”.
            “I have the family silver.”
            “I should sell you a silver chest”.
            “No need; we use it all the time.”

            It is a style.  It is not supposed to be pretty.  If you make it a style and try to make it pretty... you effect and fall short:  There is not enough money to fake it (effect and fall short); not enough ‘old money’.  No.  It is a much more comprehensive style than first thought of.  Most of it is seen full bloom the moment before it is thrown out.  “Completely there” for just a moment then... thrown out.  Every little bit of it.  I know of what I write.  I have pulled out the chest drawers, starting with the top drawer, and ‘dumped’ the contents into boxes.  Then neatly marked the box “top drawer chest office”.  Or such.  I take the boxes.  I take the chest.

            Later; back against the wall, I restore the chest.  I open the boxes and carefully return the contents to the proper drawers.  I push the drawers in; not ‘closed’.  Again; the chest is pushed back against the wall.  Shortly, it is buried there in my clutters.  I never clean it up or throw ‘it’ out (the chest or my clutters).  It all lives with me... that way; the way he left it.  Pipes and tobacco in the top drawer.  The mother in her boxes from the back of the garage.  “Isn’t that an awful thing to do to your mother!”:  Stack her up at the back of her garage.  And sell her.  “MY GOD HOW COULD YOU”.
            Oh come on:  It is just old money... being destroyed.  By retro-fitted minimalist... good sense that is just as absolutely empty of any sense of any thing of anyone in anyway once pushed back against the walls but now “cleaned up” and thrown out (“donated”) with a box store’s ‘wicker’ table painted white and a vase of flowers that has had the water for the flowers “run out”.  You said.
            To me
            And that... I understood.

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