Secret Pop

Nov 18, 2003

Weight and Worry

What a dagblasted day. I was bringing home things from my storage room in San Diego. Things I bought years ago to sell on eBay but didn't manage to sell before they were taking up too much space and had to be put away. And it's all been sitting there for so long now that it's hardly worth keeping any of it. But I figured I'd go have a peek. And I loaded up my mom's truck with boxes to take home, knowing full well I'd have to sort through it somehow to fit it all into my much less spacious sedan. I ended up stuffing what I could into garbage bags and stuffing those bags into my car, leaning against the outswell in my trunk, shoving with all my might, pressing till I was nearly horizontal with the ground, feet shuffling in that walking-in-place motion you do when you're trying to get more leverage. Pushing with one arm and having a lump poke out somewhere else that I would try and jab back in with my knee. It was like trying to stuff a huge water balloon into a tiny hole. Punch, punch, punch. Eventually, I got the trunk closed. And then I filled up the back seat and the front passenger seat. And still there were three or four boxes that had to be left for next time. I was exhausted before I even got underway.

And then I sat in an hour and a half of crawling traffic between Las Pulgas and the border checkpoint on I-5, because there had been a fairly monstrous accident. There were really just shards of car left to ogle by the time it was my turn. Another case of a zippy little coupe managing to take that scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation too seriously and misjudgng the amount of space under a large truck. Smasharoo.

I got back much later than I had planned, and I still had to go to the art supply to buy a lightbox and a lamp and some posterboard to try and fashion out a makeshift product photo studio so I can make one of my mom's clients happy. But not before going for a manicure/pedicure with Hillary and getting out of her cute new Saab only to lose my footing on the neighbor's shrubbery and fall wetly on my bottom in the cold, damp grass. I think I unearthed one of the mostly decorative retaining pieces, as well, but my awkward shame kept me from going back to reset it. I just waved at Hillary and trudged into the apartment feeling like I did when somoene first made fun of me for riding to school on a bike with training wheels. I was in kindergarten, but it was apparently not the thing to do even then. And finding out is the worst. A moment before someone laughs at you, you are cool and proud and graceful astride your wheeled steed. And then suddenly, you're an idiot, serenaded by jeers as you pick your bike up out of a ditch. They pulled it out of the bike rack and threw it in the ditch to let you know where you stood. (Reminder: you were five years-old, the savages.) And now you know. It all happens in a moment. Like falling on your ass on the neighbor's lawn in the glow of a good friend's headlights.

Cool is fleeting. Shame, by contrast, has remarkable powers of persistence.

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