Posts Tagged ‘change’

Donut and Coffee 5 Cents

Pampered Poodle, Marietta, Ohio © Jim Korpi

Joseph always finds himself in search of the authentic.

The building he walked into acted as a cafe, antique shop, and “farmer’s market.” By the sign on the door he imagined fields of farm hands hauling in the day’s harvest, and these quaint baskets by the doors being stacked neatly with the fruits of their labor.

“Made in the USA,” stated a red, white and blue striped sign above the shiny apples. A sticker stuck uniformly to each apple read “Washington.” This building was located in Upstate New York. The bananas beside the Washington apples, Joseph concluded, were surely not from these parts. There was no patriotic sign above the bananas. It was a farmer’s market, the sign was not a lie, but Joseph felt tricked.

Antiques hanging in the cafe section were for sale. Wood lathes and saws hung over the tables of retirees sipping on refills of drip coffee served in Styrofoam cups. Signs reading “Home Is Where The Heart Is” and “Donut and Coffee 5 Cents” cluttered the walls in the hallway leading to the bathrooms. They too were for sale. Each sign looked old but in peculiarly new condition. Joseph thought this illusion comically the reverse of tables of retired woman in the cafe who dressed like teens and wore make-up to appear 20 years younger.

The backs of the signs had golden stickers declaring “Made in China.” Joseph laughed out loud when he imagined a factory of Chinese villagers hand painting signs reading “Donut and Coffee 5 Cents.” Did they think a donut and coffee were five cents in the US? Were some workers scheming ways to immigrate to a country where a coffee break only cost a nickel?

Joseph could laugh at these things, but it often depressed him. Seeing a saw hanging on the wall of an antique shop saddened him similarly to the time he saw a carrier pigeon stuffed and awkwardly posed in flight at the Natural History Museum.

sense of direction

In the Shadows © Jim Korpi

“Turn right here,” brain said. I was surprised to remember the hour-long drive to my aunt’s house and the dead-end suburban street she lives on. Her phone number was still lodged in my mind in case my inner compass failed.
The house had changed since my uncle died, but signs of him, like the ornamental whiskey bottles and double-barreled shotgun, lined the basement walls and filled some innate need for nostalgia.
“You little Peckah head,” Uncle Peter would have said had I walked through the front door without my own supply of drinks to accompany the turkey dinner. A game of spades would ensue in the kitchen where Jesus Christ would be summoned in vain for having some part in a bad hand or because Dubba and Dad talked across the table. Cards aren’t played at Thanksgiving anymore.
Dubba, being the patriarch at the head of the dinner, led us in a quiet and brief prayer before the table took on a frenzied chattering of “pass this” and “pass that.”
Dubba says little since his stroke, but his eyes speak restlessly of thoughts untold.

cooperative amnesia

Season © Jim Korpi

All Knowing Change,
Your knowing hopes to escape the humbling of ignorance. At your grasp are all the unanswered and unanswerable answered. You will soon prove me wrong in my acceptance of the accepted and complacency to change.
You ask me to change as if the history of humanity is insufficient. Thousands of years you deem irrelevant.
Do you ask the birds to change? If indeed a bird is wooed by your whims and convinced to forfeit flight will its wings grow stiff and unsuited for the winds?
These whims of modernity blow in and out of my conscience startling my calm as a loose screen door in a fall breeze. Its unpredictable slam is jarring.
Your dogma of change assumes virtue in the fashionable. An unquestioning flock is shepherded by its own collective unquestioning movement. A shared memory becomes a cooperative amnesia.

Winds of Change

Wind Farm © Jim Korpi

Tractor trailor trucks crowd our highways and make one wonder what ever happened to trains and how can it be economical for all those big rigs to run all over the country.
But there is something I’ve been seeing a lot of on the back of these trucks that brings a smile to my face.
The wings of a windmill look small in the distance, but when an escorted wide-load passes you on an interstate with one wobbling on its extended trailer you’re humbled by the size and the knowledge that this is only one piece of a giant.