The garage/workshop was filled with wonderful trash. Four hundred ballpoint pens in sparkle plastic that didn’t work. Eight hundred heavy-duty industrial coffee filters. Thirty pounds of defective acrylic balls for making plastic flower arrangements. Two hundred dowels from the closed down building supply. A large box of dolls eyes from god knows where.

Every day he sat in his treasure trove and drank beer from the salvaged refrigerator. It was his place. It was quiet. It was safe. Some days he tinkered all day. He made three-cornered knick-knack shelves, cantilevered folding chairs, and napkin holders. These he made from patterns found in scavenged how-to magazines. Other times he would just make up things. Strange wind chimes, bizarre little doodads for the shelves, and goofy little figures.

Today he didn’t feel like making anything. He didn’t have to if he didn’t want to. So he opened his third beer and sat down at the rolled up garage door. It looked like it might rain. The air smelled wet. It was beginning to get hot. The beer was good and cold. The refrigerator purred smoothly in the corner.

I growed up po and ignant in Alabama. Then I went off to college and became a socialistic atheistic business school grad with an MBA. Not wanting to add evil capitalistic bastard to my resume, I obtained an antidote degree -the MFA. What a difference a letter makes. Now I teach college and make art. That's more fun and I'm less prone to drift toward the dark side. So, at the advanced age of sixty.... I have chosen mind over matter, joined the League of Defensive Pessimists and have no better answers, only fewer questions.

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