must be object friendly
Ever since I moved out of my parents home for undergraduate edification I have been haunted by the thought that my life is being scripted by some not altogether benevolent being. And by this I don't mean i have no free will or individuality or anything like that. No, the author of my life, if in fact it isn't me, is doing a bang-up job in every arena save one. Setting. I cannot get over the fact that the subtle everyday objects (or lack thereof) that surround me are planted by someone with absolutely no idea how actual human beings decorate their environs.
It started in Syracuse my freshman year. I moved into my dorm at the last possible minute, mere hours before the first mandatory incoming matriculant meeting. When I finally finished unpacking I was faced by some rather disconcerting questions from my new roomie Ahmad. "Where is all your stuff?," and "Don't you own any posters or anything?" I glanced back at my half of our bread-box. A bleak wall of primer white cinder blocks was all that greeted me. No, I did not own any posters, or for that matter any teevee, stereo, or computer. I had barely a week's worth of underwear. I turned my head askance to look at Ahmad's side and almost lost my balance. It was as if gravity momentarilly shifted and all of the 'stuff' in our room shifted over to his half. His bed was a mess, his desk full of random stuff, computer bleeping, stereo mumbling something reggae-ish, food in various states of preparation and decomposition, and up on the wall as if mocking me, three large posters of Marley, the Beastie Boys (Liscensed to Ill if I remember correctly), and something else largely forgettable, not quite a cat hanging from a tree-limb declaring 'hang in there!' but something inspirational or other. It took me most of my freshman year to acquire a single wall ornament, a radiohead poster my brother got me as a present the following spring. But it never looked like it was having any fun.
Things progressed slowly from there. Every Fall my friends lined up to help move me in as I was by far the easiest kid to unload and they all knew I would help them in return, hell, I would have helped them anyways. Sophomore year I added an original Nintendo to my room. As a Junior I now had a clunky PC that doubled as a stereo. Yet I never truly felt fully equipped. and certainly none of the 'pieces' of my room shared any self-enlightening connection. And for this I blame television.
I've long since shed my collegiate quarters. Presently I sit and watch programs like the Gilmore Girls (especially the early seasons) and marvel at how real the character's rooms look. There is stuff everywhere! It all seems to compliment each other and the chracters as well. No swath of wall is left unburdened by photos and posters and pennants and various wall-hangery. "Now this is how a 'real' person lives!," I say to myself ironically. By contrast the me that keeps laying out my Setting is still having trouble realizing his character. Even now I walk into my lovely bathroom and mentally erase everything non-comissioned by Croftie and am left to conclude that perhaps I should have been a monk or something because all there would be is a partially dry towel hanging on the back of the door, a bar of soap, toothbrush, paste, shampoo, lens fluid, and if I'm lucky, some floss.
But it is not just television that makes me feel this way. I have friends. I know people. And their homes (Oline, Bombstella, Lady E to name just a few) are delightful. Splendid to the eye and other sensory operations. So it is not just the 'real' people on teevee living it up inanimate object style. No, 'real' people from 'real' life also have things! And not just books, but art, framed and laminated, busts, posters, mirrors, draping things, things to sit on, things obviously happy with their surroundings, oh what midnight conversations they must have.
I am left to conclude that I must soon fire my interior designer. For too long have they toiled in mediocrity. Perhaps I was just reluctant to hurt their feelings. But one can only live for so long in such deprivation. And while I am at it may as well issue a few solicitations:
Wanted: One competent set designer. Knowledge of Gilmore Girls, James Jean, Marcel Duchamp, Indie Rock Poster Art a plus. Must be object friendly. Less does not equal more. God is in the details, etc. Pay negotiable.