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adventures in (w)allpapering

July 29, 2011

I ran my fingers along the edges of three books this morning. Compared the paper weight and gloss of four grocery store advertisements I found on the kitchen table when I woke. There were papery thin slices of sharp cheddar on my egg white & avocado English muffin. There is a film on my coffee. Half of my house is paper. Junk mail. Health Insurance notices. Student Loan deferment updates. Student Loan interest updates. Weekly pull-outs from the Columbia Daily Tribune. Free weekly pull out from the free weekly county newspaper. Grocery sacks and boxes. Notepads from Binswanger Glass, Barton Mutual, Eagle Auto Glass, Progressive Insurance. A manual, wrapped in plastic, that demonstrates the proper care of a new vacuum cleaner my dad purchased, not from Wal-Mart–which sells paper, is made of paper, looks good and large on most paper–but from a local hardware/appliance store, which also sells paper vacuum bags and looks teeny-tiny on paper. We used to have this great yellow, flowery wallpaper in our kitchen. Bright, fresh, & reminiscent of spring and cliches of what a kitchen could look like (on paper), what a family could look like (on paper), what a childhood looks like in a memory (now on paper). Now we have a paper-white paint on the walls, diaphanous green curtains that block just enough light, and a wall-paper border with leaves, which I am just now noticing even though it has been up for the better part of eight years, maybe more. I can put most anything on paper. Rocks glasses that are sweating from the heat of summer so as not to leave a ring. A name, number, and address that I will lose purposefully, then wish I had it back a few daysweeksmonths later. A status update for my father when he comes home to let him know I’m riding my bike, walking dogs, at the store, figuring out what it means to be grown up at 29, still humbling myself, still “checking myself when it comes to emails” as requested by B—, not apologizing for my intensity and dedication, for my desire to study English and writing, for the fact that I have “never had a real job,” for being a good teacher of writing even though I’ve “never had a real job,” for thinking he would ever ask me to apologize.

I wanted to play golf today, and play for score (that I would’ve kept on a card), so I would not check my email or phone every hour to see if anyone decided to follow up regarding the jobs to which I applied (and want to work). If I wrote my motivations out on paper, maybe I would hold to them more. Be more active. Play golf for score. 100 sit-ups a day, 100 push ups a day. Ride bike further in evenings. Mark it down. Make yourself uncomfortable when considering your limits. Walk dogs in morning. Find people to be more active with. Have more sex on soft cotton sheets. Just sign-up for a gym membership. Fill out more applications. Rewrite/revise your resume one more time. Do the same for your cover letter with each job. Write more songs. Sing more of your own songs. Finish your screenplay like all the other people who need to finish their screenplay. Write another poem and feel happy about the world, man. Write a poem for all the academics out there picking lettuce and canning vegetables. Find out if you are an academic. Get yourself out of the way when writing about yourself. Only smoke one cigarette a day, and do it after you have worked out. Don’t eat anything after 9:00. I’m gonna need a bigger notebook.

These Banh Trang Mekong Rice Papers are making me thirsty. These Banh Trang Mekong Rice Papers are MAKING me thirsty. THESE Banh Trang Mekong Rice Papers are making me thirsty. These Banh Trang Mekong RICE PAPERS are making me thirsty. These Banh Trang Mekong Rice Papers are making ME thirsty. These Banh Trang Mekong Rice Papers are making me THIRSTY. These Banh Trang Mekong Rice Papers are MAKING ME THIRSTY.

On television, people talk when they show someone writing in a notebook. Take country music videos. Blake Shelton is writing some lyrics in a notebook while you hear him singing his song. Sometimes they are turning calendars to imply time passing. It’s about time to turn the calendar. I wish we could turn the calendar to October and cooler weather, at least that’s what the almanac says. My dog, Sunday, just came from the basement, looked at me sitting in the kitchen, shook herself, and went to the living room to lay on the couch. My dad would say she’s going to poop, which maybe she is, but I highly doubt it. She usually gives me a distinct and short rorw-rorw, like she is doing now, when she needs to go outside. Now she has put her front legs on my leg and is “rorw-rorwing.” I just whistled as she walked into the other room. We must go outside, so I don’t have to use any paper products to clean up after her. There’s enough paper out in the world without using it on my pets, too.

Yet, there is room enough for a business card from a woman at my door asking if my father is at home. He is at work selling insurance. She was ringing our doorbell to sell him insurance. At least she’s out there trying to make some paper out of paper. I ain’t making shit off this blog.

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