Hi, my name is Stranded Wind, and I’m Post Consumer Waste.
Humor me for a minute here; it’s truer than you’d care to think.
True confession: I’ve never been all that good of a consumer.
My father was a railroad man, disabled when I was in my early teens. We lived on a farm so there was always food, but if we wanted anything more up and out the door to work for the neighbors was the rule.
I was once a twenty something with all that entails. Mistakes were made. We’ll speak no more of this embarrassing interlude.
I married a Jewish American Princess. Consumption at last; we both had excellent jobs, the drawings were done to expand the ranch house we got for a good price on the street where $300,000 homes were torn down to build things twice the original size. A son, a new SUV, a daughter, a minivan for our growing family. A masters for her, a string of professional certifications for me. Our future seemed bright.
It came slowly, the undoing. Rages, plates thrown, fears of the unlikely. Fear of the patently impossible. I don’t know if she has invisible friends but she has all of the other signs of schizophrenia. Daddy had done well; I was sent away, she kept the children. My sin most often cited? I couldn’t make money as fast as she could spend it.
Time went on. I recovered. A rebuilt consulting business. A sturdy two bedroom apartment, living room carpet torn up to expose hardwood floors, tropical plants, a place for yoga and meditation. I’ve never been happier in a space I inhabited; I got just a bit of the dharma, started noticing how less was actually so much more.
Illness struck out of a clear blue desert sky. Down and down I went, shedding this and that; what truly matters? Enough to eat. A soft place to lay when you’re tired. A way to be clean. I never let my camera or laptop slip; This tale was well told. Too sick to eat, too sick to drive, and at one point almost so sick that there might not have been another point. I look back now and I see a magical time.
Again I recovered. Again the consulting business; don’t imagine I’m not grateful that I have a skilled trade. Only one room now, but it’s enough; stove, bed, shower. No yoga, body can’t stand it. Little meditation, Lyme changes many things about you. There are few photos and no adventure to be had in this place.
Renunciation, but now it’s the world renouncing me. She’s gone, aught but a ring of silver and gold I’ve left around my finger. Lyme, you see, is like syphilis. There’s no proof it can be passed, but the suspicion is very, very strong. More renunciation: don’t call me until you get your act together. My thirteen year old sounds precisely like my ex wife.
I’ve long suspected this day would come; when crazy defines your world you go along to get along. And all I could think of seven years ago was time with my children without her menacing, bizarre conduct to interfere.
There’s some lesson in all this, but right now I can’t see it through the tears.
My consumption, it’s done. I can hardly muster a moment’s attachment for any thing. Now thrice in quick succession the same is forced upon me for any one.
Post. Consumers. Waste. It becomes art.