Sunday, July 29, 2012
dead people's houses
A Thigh-Master, still in its box and advertised by Suzanne Somers's pile of hair and smiling face, leered at the shlumpy masses as they traipsed up steep stairs embellished with blue painting tape to prevent mishap. Self-help paperbacks bleached by the years were spread out in a disheveled pile in an upstairs sleeping porch. All these items, and more. The legacy of some dead lady.
Today was a field trip illustration of folk singer Cheryl Wheeler's terrific song "Estate Sale," and it touched the same nerve that Cheryl's song does, the way we would-be gold-diggers were poking around in all of her stuff. For $1.75 I got a set of six vintage cocktail glasses, the Ethiopian mother hankie, and a bestseller by Diane Mott Davidson called "The Grilling Season" with a tagline that read: Revenge against your ex-husband can be a tasty dish--it can also be murder.
As I hauled my paper sack of loot down the crumbling steps, my joy at the deals in my bundle was mitigated by a sorrow. The sort of sorrow that usually sends me into the deep end of project. What sort of fabrication might I conjure? How might exploit the clues here, churn them up in the mixer, and spit out, say, 80K words?
Whose stories have you stolen lately?