Rendered Fat Content


Pierre-Antoine Poiteau: Plate 8, "Arancio di Genova", from l’Histoire Naturelle des Orangers (circa 1818)
"It's been a long time since yesterday's lunch."

Psychologist Paul Watzlawick told the story of the Stalin-era Ukrainian collective farm ordered by the Moscow central planning bureau to grow oranges. When the farmers complained that Ukraine's climate was not right for orange cultivation, the planning bureau criticized their counter-revolutionary attitude. Relenting, the farmers planted orange trees, which froze the first winter. The farmers were sent to Siberia for sabotaging The Five Year Plan. Context always matters yet plans can only be crafted out of the context within which they will be expected to execute. Planners largely presume away the differences because anticipating them either proves to be impossible in practice or implausible to overseers. We tend to create fictions, the best-laid of which initially prove most satisfying. Later, the weather will do what she always does and prove somebody foolish. Caution's rarely rewarded.

One just never knows until arriving precisely what climate they'll be encountering.
Every experience drose colors itself since only survivors produce memories and write histories, and time foreshortens foresight. Pasts increasingly fail to represent presences, everyplace continually changing. As usual The Muse and I seemed to have planned for the last move, not this one. We managed remarkable organization, carefully labeling contents and room destination when packing, but then the organization changed. What seemed destined for the front living room when we were packing became better suited for a second floor room off the roof deck. The location of The Muse's office remained in contention until late afternoon on Move In Day, and even then, much assembly remained. I'd proposed that we designate a few rooms as staging areas, but the algorithm by which something labeled Master Bedroom should instead get sequestered in Staging baffled the movers, and even The Muse and I couldn't quite agree. I consequently spend time shuttling innocent mistakes to their proper destinations while The Muse kept track of every item number coming off the trailer.

Our well-planned order produced a chaos all its own. The movers themselves never quite caught on to their teamness until late in the afternoon, resulting in considerable cross-purposes. The driver and one of the crew spouted QAnon garbage in side conversations, which drove The Muse batty. The Runt of the crew insisted upon wearing his ear buds which meant that he often failed to hear what were clear directions. He did manage to assemble the dining room table backwards before conveniently disappearing, leaving the fix to the most senior mover, who, by that time, was clearly flummoxed. The Bed Bug Driver exhibited his extreme OCD in ten thousand terribly annoying ways. He might have been masterful when packing, but he injected incoherence when unloading, exhibiting no appreciation for flow or queuing theory. I finally could not watch.

I amused myself reattaching table legs for a while. I mowed a little lawn. Around sunset, seeing that the operation might well turn into an all-nighter, I slipped away to the grocery to buy some brats and briquets, figuring I might at least feed those struggling buggers. By ten, they called the effort done. By then, I'd been sitting beside the dying charcoal fire for a few hours, hand feeding the cats, who were too terrified to reenter the house. Pushing out the last brat sandwich onto the reluctant driver, I noticed that I'd missed supper again. I crawled into what I could not by then quite recognize as our once-familiar bed, but The Muse insisted that we might make it first. She somehow produced sheets and I stood aside, knowing that my involvement might most likely hamper results. I remember falling into bed but then nothing until the following morning.

The drier needs a new pig tail. I cannot figure out how to hook up the washer. I'm learning with this TransPlanting that I understand nothing about how anything I own works. I could not figure out how to reassemble the patio table, though I'm fairly skilled at sorting empty boxes into like sizes. The garage, my domain if I have one, is a mess after my twelve year absence. It might take a year or more to tame it. My masks, grimy after days of moving, are drying on a heat vent after a hand washing which didn't help. Most of my tools seem to have gone missing, though they're probably here somewhere, stacked into one of the staging rooms or something. I seem to be planting orange trees. We'll have to see whether they freeze or thrive and whether I'll be sent to Siberia for sabotaging our revolution. It's been a long time since yesterday's lunch.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

blog comments powered by Disqus

Made in RapidWeaver