Extraordinary stories from everyday life on the edge of the world

Stories

the best thing about us is the people we know.
 

Country Club Lane || Friday, 2.30pm

Egyptians used to bury their dead kings in a room filled with the royal’s favorite effects. Weapons, furniture, games, jewelry, even food; the king’s chamber must have looked like a consignment shop. In case he woke up to the afterlife disoriented, there were drawings on the walls to remind him of what to do with all the stuff they’d left for him.

I imagine the departed king sitting at his inlaid table, fingering the game pieces, testing the echoes of the room.

I hate dusting. I hate it more than I enjoy having things to dust.

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Today, a friend—a good friend—asked, frantically but good-naturedly, about my roadtrip project. When I told her what I was about, she said “Okay, planning then…not an actual scheduled thing?”

"Well," I answered. "Yes. I guess not. Yet."

"Dude," she said, "You crack me up. I love it."

I wish instead she had argued with me.

I wonder if this is how God felt when Sarai laughed.

Funny, the more I use it and hear it used, is perhaps the most unpleasant word in the modern lexicon. Which is itself funny, right? In the bitterest ironic sense?

What will I do with all my hats?

I don’t want to have things that I have to dust. And the books I’ve read just sit there in retirement. Nobody else I know has read them, or would want to…where will they end up?

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Half my clothes I don’t wear half the year—there seems to be something wrong with that. Some kind of wrong I can’t get a clear sight on.

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I mentioned the roadtrip project to my mom for the first time the other night. She responded, “Do you think that’s wise?”

Most people have a winter closet and a summer closet. 

How do you answer whether something is wise? Really, I want to know.

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When I was 19, attending my first church conference for single people (D.V., my last), I shared a hotel room with a girl who insisted that she “saw some wisdom” in keeping bagels in the minibar, so that we wouldn’t waste time ordering breakfast in the morning.

Where, I wondered then, did the wisdom consist? In having food saved up for the next morning? Or in preparing for what she really wanted, which was getting to the conference early enough to secure a front-row seat?

The short view or the long view—which one is the real wisdom? Because my project stacks up differently against either option.

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Of course I’ll feel scared sometimes, wondering if I’ve done what’s wise. And of course I’ll feel alone, the one people call “funny.”

But I feel like that anyway. So why not spend at least part of the time feeling at home?

Why should I mind having a winter and summer closet? But I do. Doesn’t that mean something? I think it has to. 

The fact remains that I don’t have a ride yet. Or money to spare. The only thing with motion is this idea, and the only legs it has are words.

For now, words are my only way out.