Things I've Inherited From My Mother

  • An overwhelming compulsion to save every little thing: receipts worn silky-smooth, their original records blasted by time, pockets, and bag bottoms until only faint character outlines remain, ghostly imprints like the marks of hermit crabs scuttling across a damp shoreline; travel shampoos and conditioners flensed from hotel pushcarts, never used, stored for unfathomable reasons (the next trip circumvents their utility as additional bottles are collected, never used, stored, and the cycle continues); old electronics, generations of computers and cell phones containing pictures, videos, and files I'm afraid to lose but no longer remember; clothing, new and old, loose and tight, fashionable and passé, clutched because fashion is cyclical although my love of t-shirts, jeans, and comfort wear remains stubbornly fixed; product packaging for the day when a product fails and I must return it, a day that like the Second Coming never has or will come; old calendars, for their eventual reuse when years realign despite those years existing well beyond my reckoning; magazines, those I've read and those I have not, for containing information I may need some day, as is the motivation of the Preservation of Every Little Thing—to forestall a time when I may need but will not have, to thwart the frantic emptiness of desideratum, to preserve the self-deception of preparedness, for everything, so long as I'm surrounded by things I haven't a need for just yet. 
  • Wild, frenetic hair, eddies curled against passive waves in a roiling, motley mixture, black as pitch but arbitrarily streaked with silver, bioluminescent fissures cracking the void of a turbid ocean at night.
  • Solitude without loneliness.
  • Comfort in disorder: surrounded by papers, shoes, clothing, bags, and sundry, a tendency towards entropy, an inability to keep tidy, my environment like my hair constantly swirling around me, a whirlpool of accumulated life.
  • A listening ear.
  • Love for old things: patinated jewelry intricately carved, set with tarnished jewels and finished with antique clasps—fishhooks, barrel and hook, lobster claws, each as detailed as the necklaces and bracelets they secured; books redolent of vanillin and fusty incense, the pages limned with brown shadow as if the words were set in a picture frame, the text interrupted by fantastic illustration plates veiled by thin, siffilating parchment; the silhouettes of the 20s, 30s, and 40s, from beaded lace flapper frocks to stiff, starched gabardine, the flourish of vintage labels scripted in a feminine print especially enticing; the countenance of buildings so old as to have developed personalities, the inquisitive brows arched over lunettes, the chiseled teeth of polished balusters, the worlds that revolved inside tympanums; glasses, bowls, and dishes painted with graphic 60s prints, the pineapples, strawberries, and hot air balloons of Georges Briard. This love for things that were and still are is deeply rooted in a sense of being, an acknowledgment of existence, a respect for the continuum. 
  • The strange and contradictory ability to be both patient and impatient: pliable as a reedy branch bent back against its growth pattern that snaps forward the second you've crossed it, and possibly whacks you in the rear.
  • Anxiety for the unknown.