Funny. I've worried my entire life about being laid off.
Almost as though worrying would buffer me against the future.
Almost as a form of payment.
Like paying a toll. Or praying. Like some kind of unspoken agreement had been made between me and fate - long ago.
I put in the time:
Victoria worried about fifteen hours this week..
I used worrying as currency. The way others might use information, flattery - even, bootleg levis.
No. Going to the unemployment office was no big deal.
I don't know why it gets such a bad rap.
Being laid off = bad
Getting some help from the government = yay
And I enjoyed the building's clear promise via its design.
Straight forward and clean. Brick. Wood paneling. Nice, neat overhead lighting.
This was a late 1970's comment on making the "whole thing" more pleasant. With authority; with familiarity.
Make it useful. Make it simple. Make it clean.
I should note that people, if they bathe just once a day, will smell better (actually, like nothing). And that it's only fair to bathe just once a day.
Buried hostility might rear it's head in the form of non-bathing. But, incredibly, never in the form of expensive jeans, leather jackets or any way-ward Doritos.
All and all, I give it an 8.
And, then, a mere two and a half hours later, I was on my way back home.
This is when I bought a $7.00 fruit bowl.
Odd. I've bought nothing in over a year. But, now that I'm jobless, apparently, I buy things like fruit bowls.
It all happened so fast:
I was walking through this resale shop that I go to sometimes, as it is on my way home.
And, I was about to leave when I spotted this fruit bowl.
At first I looked away.
Yes, it was green glass. And it was oval. And it was somewhat irregular - all good, good points.
And it stood on four legs, for no reason other than to elevate itself. And that's the kind of detail that makes me go crazy (over things like fruit bowls).
And, if it's possible, it seemed (as a bowl) to be both unassuming - as well as a little bit in love with itself.
But, I had other things on my mind. Things other than fruit bowls.
Then, all of a sudden, the sun came out, which flooded the windows with light. Which caused the fruit bowl to cast sparkling prisms all around the room.
I didn't know it could do that.
And, since it was that kind of blustery day - sunny, then cloudy, then sunny, then cloudy - this happened not once, not twice, but probably seven or eight times.
Any twinkly sound effect that I heard was probably all in my head. Truth be told, I'm sure it all happened very quietly. And no one else seemed to notice, when it did.
I was transfixed.
Now - the whole thing (the sensuous shape of the fruit bowl, the glittering green glass, the usefulness of it's function as juxtaposed with it's charm and near magical properties) had become so paramount in my mind, that I was afraid I would not make it over to the fruit bowl in time.
That is, before somebody else did.
Quickly (expertly) I climbed over a stack of old TVs and shimmied through a bunch of couches. The fruit bowl was, by then, just out of reach, so I dragged a couch (that I had become caught on) with me for the remaining 18 inches, or so.
The fruit bowl. It was mine.
And heavier than I imagined.
And whatever it lacked in practicality, it made up for in history.
It's from the late 1960's. I could almost still see the plastic grapes that once certainly spilled out of it.
I swear, I had no idea that any of this would happen.
Originally, I went in to this resale shop to look for bad art. It's been a while since this resale shop has had any really good bad art.
Still, one keeps hoping.
Then I saw it. The fruit bowl.
I don't remember buying it at all. Just that suddenly they were wrapping it up in newspaper and helping me put it into my back pack.
That's when they said, Thank you, come again!
That's when I went home. Straight home.