Garage Sale. Saturday. I need to pay my heart’s outstanding bills. A cracked-up compass and a pocket watch, some plastic daffodils, the cutlery and coffee cups I stole from all-night restaurants, a sense of wonder (only slightly used), a year of two to haunt you in the dark for a phone call from far away with a “Hi, how are you today”, and a sign: recovery comes to the broken ones. A wage-slave forty-hour work week (weighs a thousand kilograms, so bend you knees) — comes with a free fake smile for all your dumb demands, the cordless razor that my father bought when I turned 17, a puke-green sofa and the outline to a complicated dream of dignity, for a laugh (too loud and too long). Or a place where awkward belongs, and a sign: recovery comes to the broken ones. Or best offer.
-Weakerthans, “Everything Must Go!” (complete song)
Yes, I’m up earlier than I’ve been in weeks to get ready for a block-yard-sale in Oakland. We’re piggybacking into the front yard of a coworker of Emily’s since our place hasn’t proven to be the most marketable locale (though I guess we could always get some interesting traffic off of University). Lots of furniture and some random extra items, plus the attitude that pretty much no offer is too low. This is all about not shipping things we can replace for less than the cost to ship. Or that we might not need to replace after all (see, e.g., two stereos from our respective college experiences).
I already sold my 1,000 kg forty-hour work week, but I can offer this memory of same that I ran across when sorting through papers earlier this week:
I wonder what foundational document of the next phase of my life I may be creating even now, to look back on with a quiet sigh of wondering how much predominantly futile effort was yet to be expended in whatever direction seemed to make the most sense at the time. Without these pieces of paper, these organizational memories to bring order to the chaotic-seeming decisions of our lives, we would be almost nothing but a binary code of inexplicable choices. It is the context that recalls the free will that gives these choices, however painful or complicated or ill-advised, meaning.
And not to say that I have a collection of regrets – three years at Glide taught me much. But so did more than a decade spread across thirteen schools… it doesn’t mean that any of this was the easiest, best, or most efficient way to learn these things. And if I want to learn anything, it’s probably how to make the choice of easier, better, or more efficient ways of learning or doing.
This is why I keep the paper. And sell the TV.
You want it?