Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Toaster-Oven Dilemma...and Patterns

I feel the symptoms described by a character in a Tom Robbins book...comfort levels rising causing me to feel some paralysis.

(Exactly one month ago I let this sentiment flow from my head down my likely tense shoulders, through my arms to fingers tip tapping their way across my continues)

I am afraid to open my toaster oven, as though once I do that I will no longer be capable of traveling the world...I break that seal, it is still possible to return it, but once it is out of the box, working for me, toasting my toast, warming bagels and vegetarian meatballs i will no longer want to get rid of it, it will be too painful, plus i have the added investment of money and time...I just know now, after college and buying things to make our houses homes, that it all just ends up being stuff to deal with, stuff that is scattered across the current homes of several friends, money down the proverbial wasteful, blind consumption...I have a desire to take all of the things I bought this evening back to target. the house is fine as it is. does not need more. the simple plastic plates will suffice, glass jars are perfect glasses, no fear of plastic contamination, they say, "i care about the planet." and they are also unique, like I'm that cool guy who has jars for glasses, like it is some novel idea...I have just grown so accustomed to middle class life with homes completely furnished by target and ikea, so the idea of random stuff making up a home feels so WILD.

...I have wanted to go back to these words...but I do not want to touch them, what I wrote was what I felt...I can now tell you that I took the toaster-oven back, it never even left the bag. The only things I kept were steak knives and plates. the knives have been the very necessary sharp tool used for all cutting needs...such is the life of a Californian transplant bachelor...He lives without scissors.

I can tell you this. in this entire month I have not missed the toaster...only once burned toast in the oven, and I just scraped off the black parts with my knife...and i enjoy drinking out out glass jars that used to house spaghetti sauce. they are hefty, a good size. at some point I'd like to soak them, let the labels peel off, but is not necessary, so laziness wins that battle...

I was right to know that life without these items would hardly make me blink...impulse purchasing and thinking we need things...we don't. I don't. It was a nice step in the right direction. A step towards simple. Simplify. (Here I wrote something cliche, like a bold observation about life with a trite ending. perfect for the last 5 pages of some Hollywood script. so I deleted it. saved you from reading more worthless self-indulgent crap. you're welcome.)

Though I still notice myself finding patterns, habits...wake up and immediately stumble to the kitchen, bring water to a boil in an old chrome tea kettle and make coffee in my stove top espresso maker....every day...

...or my walk to the gym: South on Hooper for two blocks, across the street from Alberto's Laundromat and under the Dominican Flags, then I stare down at the garbage that always collects by the chain-link fence...a right onto 5th street, I pick this street because after the first block which is mostly dirty and at the end always has cat food sitting out for strays, I walk from Keap to Rodney streets, and this one block is lined with trees, clean neat houses with stoops that watch me pass...and then then the real reason I take this path. the old church on the South-Eastern corner of Rodney and South 5th. red brick. tall steeple, juts into the sky and no matter blue skies or grey clouds, either way i find it an inspiration. a reminder to keep my head up...
then i pass the the Red Mill Warehouse, which for a long time I thought was running a drug-game... (that may have just been watching too much WEEDS)...then there is the large tree with the Mother's day balloons...back in May they were full of helium trying to pull away from the tree, now they are pulling in the other direction, a sagging bouquet drooping in death, gravity pulls them to their grave, the branches keep them swinging in mid air...I cross the street, by the sweet nuts vendor and the table with ladies undergarments....then I walk through the bus lot, wonder about the folks using this form of transportation and avoid dead birds on the concrete...under the JMZ line I walk carefully so as not to get hit by the mysterious dripping from above that covers most of the sidewalk... I glance at the curls, beards and yamakas as Hassidic men bustle around the string of banks and then the same men watch over the brown men building their latest addition to apartments...last, past a cool looking bar that I have never walked into, and there it is: my little piece of comfort and luxury...SOMA health club...I walk in and either make awkward eye contact and hellos with the girl who stands so uncomfortably that she makes me uncomfortable, or i talk with Liam the musical theatre actor who has also been in NY for a year...through my workouts, distracted on occaision by Sports Center...and i end it with five to ten minutes in the steam room...

...very predictable...pattern habit, this little controlled piece that gives me false security in a chaotic unpredictable world, one might say...

also. I found a desk...on the street, it was dark out but looked to be in good condition, so i rolled it home. It was dirty, so I cleaned it up, but now I have a perfectly good desk. It was on the invisible, ongoing list of things to add to the apartment...A bargain.


Anonymous said...

so, yeah.
i love love love this one.
i remember that toaster oven.
i am with you about mason jars and such as great drinking-ware.
the character within a set of dishes that don't match far outweighs the "supposed" harmony of matching sets.
harmony is hidden deep within diversity...not sameness.
your description of your daily routine, makes me fall even more in love with your place in this life and on this earth, my friend.
i could see it all as if firsthand and allowed me a moment of feeling even more a part of your life.
~ j

Museworks said...

Mister... love your blog postings. But this little stuff is no big deal. Try a kid, or a dog. Now that's commitment. I've always been a big fan of "storage space," which becomes my mortgage when I travel so I can store my life-acquired necessities. It's easy to invest in the little things. It's the big things that throw you the real mental whopper. I'm still working on that one. XO

Anonymous said...

Bargain at any price! Might I add that my false security is seeing a friend post a blog on my birthday and somehow feeling like I am responsible. Like some kind of subconscious nudge to that perfect part of the back that allows no response but to move forward. Wow, I might want to write that down. Like I just did.
Love you brother.
Chigity K