23 June 2011

June 23, 2011

So maybe our culture is filled with all these fake, poser-ish things. Our TV shows are formulaic. Our music is trite. Our cars all look the same. But I’ve been thinking about how sometimes we take these impersonal products, these objects that weren’t made for us, and we turn them into these incredibly meaningful things. We pass down our Singer sewing machines. We loan out our grocery store paperbacks. We cry during Jerry McGuire.

We put these standards on things, like the things themselves are supposed bring us meaning, like they’re supposed to make us feel original or new or creative or human, but really I think the reverse is true: We’re the ones that bring meaning to things. They’re just empty boxes. Ink blots.

Sometimes I open the drawers of my desk just to see what’s in there. I don’t need anything. I just want to see.

My friend’s dad died this morning. What else can you say about something like that.

I’ve been recording conversations around the office, just people talking about stuff. Sometimes they look at the camera but then they go back to their conversations, forget I’m there. I like listening to the way people talk, the way they tell stories, the words they choose. No one says “perhaps” in real life. It’s like it’s not even a real word.

I was sitting outside my apartment building reading when a guy came up and said he’d left his cigarettes beneath my bench. He had a cane, a limp, so I reached down and picked up the box for him. “Thanks,” he said, and gave me a lazy sort of salute. I thought about asking him to stay, sit next to me, shoot the breeze. But I didn’t know what we’d talk about.

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