February 7, 2008
Stationary objects…. Sometimes, when the light shines just right upon them, they seem to have a distinct life of their own. It’s a sedentary life, which isn’t entirely unenviable. I sat on the couch in the sunroom and stared at the opposite side of the room, at a white bag bearing a massive red star with “MACY’S” written across its side, sitting slanted on some books, and overflowing with leftover mail, flyers and random papers that might or might not be important. The ironing table next to the pile of papers and bags stood cross-legged and lonely, with a defiant looking iron sitting on top. As I watched these objects, they seemed to stare back at me with a steady, uncompromising stare. The muted yellow light peeping from the broken lampshade across the room shone just enough light onto the blue plastic hanger that stuck out of the box to make it look a little sinister. Looking at these objects, I found myself feeling envious of their aloofness, of their ability to remain detached and yet surrounded by the chaos of life. I find myself consistently unable to detach myself from people and events around me- whether they personally involve me or not. The world of stationary objects makes me wish I possessed those very enviable qualities some people have of detaching themselves from things around them to the point where they remain unfazed regardless of what happens. They live happier lives, I think.
As I sat there, all the objects began to glow in their stillness. They mocked me; reminding me of the tangled mess that is my life, of the continuous struggles and conflicts I’m forced to face everyday. They rejoiced in their sedentary ways; showing me how much better it is to simply be in the background, as the sun reached out its fading light across the bold letters on the side of the bag. I sat there listening to the voices around me, watching the invisible words coming at me, becoming absorbed into my skin, watching it turn varying shades as the words churned into emotions inside me. I sat there, watching myself becoming angry, becoming sad, becoming happy, and ricocheting through numerous emotions. Slowly, a sentence wafted into my head from somewhere (or someone) -- “it’s your choice.” I thought about what that meant, and realized that unfortunately, it’s really not my choice. If I did have a choice about it, I would choose the sedentary life; I wouldn’t choose to have these emotions, these feelings, these obligations and expectations that seem to drive our lives. I think I might have to disagree with Shakespeare at this point in my life; I would definitely much rather have never loved (or felt) at all.
What it comes down to is that I would much rather be a paper bag advertising for Macy’s than who I am… at least then I would be recycled, reused… replaced. I wouldn’t mind being replaced under those circumstances. I wouldn’t mind one way or the other, which is the exact point of it all.