Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Fine Balance

I felt really down yesterday afternoon. Too much time alone with the Frindian War and David Foster Wallace.

The depressing effects of war are self-evident.
But DFW doesn't seem depressing (or depressed) first. After reading him for a week, however, I'd say he is. He's all thought; unearthed, top heavy, like a big-headed Macy's parade float. Like a baby whose neck can barely hold its head up. Like a watermelon-brained Talosian on Star Trek.

I started to feel dangerously interior--
like I was alone, a mechanical being on a hollow planet.

So I hauled myself out and went shopping. I hate shopping, except at thrift stores and garage sales, which is more like sociological scouting than shopping.

And, for my pains, I was rewarded.
In a glass display case at Steeple People Thrift I saw this graceful pewter bowl. I guessed it was a colonial reproduction, and sure enough, it's a Paul Revere repro by Boardman.
For a dollar.
I told the guy who got the bowl out for me that the price was too low.
He just shrugged. I went home looked it up, and it sells new for $56.

But it wasn't the good deal that restored my interior balance.
It was the reminder that colonial Americans loved pretty little things, same as anyone.
Weeks of reading about frontier guerrilla warfare had left me wondering.

So, I'm taking the DFW books back to the library and turning the computer off.
I'm getting on my bike and going to look for garage sales.


Lill said...

Good choice, Fresca, interrupt the negative. BTW I love the captcha word today: hysicent. Sounds female and positive--an antidote to hysterical, for instance.

momo said...

I love thrift store bargains, and that is a sweet one.

The MIA has quite a nice section of colonial American stuff: furniture, glass and pewterware, etc, as well as paintings. Although it is not my favorite period, but I'm interested in looking at it again now that I have finished that David Liss novel Whiskey Rebels. Not the exact period of the Frindian wars, but now I want to read that John Adams biography I've had sitting around (only $3 for the hardback! a find!) for ages.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Love you! Are you done-DONE? For now! Hey! CAGAG neighborhood's big garage sale is on today--maybe you know. Retail Bad; Steeple People Good. Me love it. Older baby's former boyfriend once said, "can your mom say a sentence without the words 'Steeple People' in it?!"
See you someday soonish/


femminismo said...

Nice reminder that all people at all times have loved pretty little things to brighten their lives. thanks

Margaret said...

Go Freska Go!

Everywhen likes pretty things. This is such a lovely, lovely, pretty thought.

Jennifer said...

I've never read DFW, but from the excerpts you put up here I'd agree with your assessment. It's good to get re-grounded and touch some things and feel their textures and be right there.

Clair said...

Hey Fresca --
I too am a garage sale junkie -- look a lot, but usually only plunk money down for frames!

And, my friend, here's to a restorative bike ride!

Fresca said...

Thanks, all---as I wrote this (next) morning, I feel better having literally "re-grounded"--lying on the grass at the lake yesterday.

Maybe today I'll go look at furniture at the museum!