on being sick and fading away

Linettes been sick this past week. Shes had a cold. Yesterday, we were supposed to go to into Detroit to see our friends Steve and Anne. We were going to barbeque. Steve was going to cook us up a batch of spicy chicken sausage. He was also going to take me to a place he calls the, Polish Disco. According to Steve, all the women who work there dress like theyre extras in the film, The Velvet Goldmine. Apparently, its part Polish market, part Studio 54. (Im imagining tall, emaciated models snorting coke with a bagger who looks like Andy Warhol beneath a disco ball in the canned food isle.) Anyway, I had to miss it. I stayed home and tended to my sick wife instead. (Hopefully, I will have another chance to see cashiers dressed up like Eastern European prostitutes though.)

While at home, Linette reminded me of some household projects that needed doing. The most intimidating project on her list was the building of shelves in the basement to contain all the back issues of Crimewave. Up to this point, they were scattered all around the house in loose stacks and rotting cardboard boxes.

Id been putting it off for three years now. For some reason, I just cant bear to start projects that I feel may possibly lead to frustration and/or disappointment. It is for that reason that I have yet to drive a single nail in the three years that we have lived in this old house (except for nails to hang pictures). My father would have driven ten pounds of nails in the first month of living in this ramshackle, turn-of-the-century house. It took me three years to muster up the energy to drive the first one.

Here are the shelves. Youll notice that we have quite a few back issues to get rid of.

On the subject of the back issues, for some reason weve got a lot of #10. We need to unload them. I was thinking of following Kezs lead and putting them on Ebay. I wonder what people would bid for 100 identical copies of Crimewave USA #10 The other idea to cross my mind was having a special where every person to order something from us got a free copy of #10 thrown in.

As Linette and I were standing there, in front of this massive wall of back issues, stacked on top of poorly constructed, uneven shelves, I said, I wonder how many of these will still be here, on these shelves, when we die? Its weird to think about, but theres a very good chance that well still be living here when that happens, and that well still have back issues available. Maybe we can just have a big hole dug and have a bulldozer shove us, and all the evidence of our existence, in.

Speaking of this very thing, the old woman who used to live in the house behind us recently died in a nursing home. There was an auction of her possessions a few days ago. Linette went to it. While she didnt buy anything, she did come home with close to one hundred mason jars full of frightening, faded vegetables. She got them for free. All she had to do was promise that she wasnt going to eat them Linette didnt want to see the womans hard work just tossed away. The cans, and the food inside of them, were at least 20 years old. The woman had kept these things all this time in her cupboards and Linette didnt think it right to just erase that. So, now we have them. Linette wants to document them in photographs and perhaps have an art show featuring them My hope is that some day, she and I are fortunate enough to have a neighbor willing to rescue our magazines and see to it that our obsessive and self-indulgent work is not forgotten.

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