this strung-out dinosaur
This dinosaur came to me all the way from a paper tablecloth in New Hampshire this week. It was in my inbox on Monday morning when I got to work, along with this message:
I'm in New Hampshire at a restaurant waiting for my food to come and LP and I discovered you can draw on the tablecloths, so I drew you a picture of a T-Rex in a top hat looking strung out giving someone flowers. We have pizza and nachos coming. I'm hungry. Happy Monday my dear sister, Love, James xoxoxo [Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry]
Line breaks my own (for some reason the lines wouldn’t recognise the right margin or wrap). James turns 26 tomorrow. This strung-out dinosaur is now my wallpaper.
Today I worked from home. It was highly productive. Then I cooked and watched TV. I just finished studying for the year. This evening I thought vaguely about two writing starting points. One is a sort of fable called the unfortunate snowball and the other is a (slightly epic) narrative poem about a photocopier (and a girl, but the photocopier is pretty much the central character).
But it’s quite nice not doing anything about anything. It’s quite nice just wandering from room to room going: shit, I live here. I even have my own pantry now. I’ve never had my own pantry before. Or two dish drawers.
All day today I couldn’t stop thinking about the scene from The Great Gatsby where Gatsby throws his shirts everywhere for Daisy’s benefit.
Recovering himself in a minute he opened for us two hulking patent cabinets which held his massed suits and dressing-gowns and ties, and his shirts, piled like bricks in stacks a dozen high.
“I’ve got a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a selection of things at the beginning of each season, spring and fall.”
He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher — shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, and monograms of Indian blue. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.
“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such — such beautiful shirts before.”
I thought of this today as I fought the urge to go on Trade Me and buy shit just because. And again as I deleted today’s 1-Day Special email, half afraid that if I opened it I’d end up with some new thing. I think I pretty much bought a painting online in my sleep once. I was quite strung out, and it was very late, and I didn’t remember it in the morning.
I find it hard to want less rather than more. It’s like I’m just wired to want the next thing. Like there’s always something more that I need. Like I think I would be happier if I had a bunch of new shirts I could fling around the room just because.
But no, no new shirts. I just did the new-house budget and new shirts are off-limits. Good thing I have more shirts than a human being could ever need (and when I say shirts I don’t actually mean shirts, I’m just using them as a stand-in — metaphorically, like — for pretty much everything in the world there is to acquire… apart from boats and jacuzzis and stuff).
I’m listening to the tail end of last night’s playlist from the Blog on the Tracks Ladies’ Night at Bats. In the last half hour or so I’ve had Peaches, Patti Smith, Madonna, Liz Phair, Grace Jones, Headless Chickens, Aimee Mann… and some others. I can’t remember now.
Filed under: clutter, daytoday, happiness, mind games, modern life, music, writing | 6 Comments
Tags: clutter, diary, every day, music, The Great Gatsby, writing