Saturday, August 27, 2022

The Parable of the Forgetting

This is what happens all the time now. First I stopped being able to read, and I don’t know if that’s because of what I was reading – Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, or just because it was bound to happen. Any desire to read novels went right along with the forgetting. I watch movies now without being able to follow the plot, and it takes until halfway in to realize that I’ve seen this one before. 

For no good reason that I can tell, I’ve constrained myself for a few days now within my tiny mobile space. Its batteries grow weak and there has been no sun to recharge them. For the first time in a long while, I’m twenty miles in any direction from a cell tower, so I’m out of touch. The rain yesterday might have washed my tiny house right down the slope. I have such thoughts. There is a new leak, after dealing effectively with all the rogue leaks. There is no success that isn’t mitigated.

This morning, making my coffee, I choose the green cup because the rest have been washed poorly with hand soap, and likely have an indigestive film. I’d used the blue one yesterday. Now as I sit drinking my coffee, and it’s good coffee with no soapy flavor, I’m looking around for the blue cup. In dim light I check to be sure that the one I have is green. 

There is a lock to the door and it seems unlikely that someone came in just to swipe that one cup, but who knows? Maybe they really needed a cup and I was peeing in the outhouse across the way. One thinks these things. Now I try to keep reading toward the conclusion of The Great Transformation, as though there is one, with the dwindling battery of my Kindle and I can’t stop scanning all possible spaces inside the trailer. 

Did I bring the cup into the car? Did I sequester it somewhere to prevent soapy coffee? Did it drop? Well, I’ll just have to forget about it. The coffee is fine and I’m reading in the morning, waiting for some sun to rise. I start the heater to dry out the condensated inners. To allow the corner where my mattress got wet from the new leak dry. I go out and pull the corner of the awning down. Maybe the flow overwhelmed it.

Now I take note that my cup is blue. And somehow, I remember that when I found that replacement plate and bowl to match what I had in red and blue with green, when the sporting goods store was selling off its stock for good, there never was a green cup, was there? Even though I remember a green cup, there never was one.

I peed into the bottle I once used for drinking just to avoid more walking through more rain. I shall never mistake that one. It is imprinted permanently now. 

Well, back to the book. For the very first time ever I feel like I have a handle on what is happening now because it’s happened so many times before. I shall not try to tell my children, for it would upset them. Let’s just keep the cup story between you and me, OK? I must now poop.

Don’t worry, I locked the door. There was no lock on the stall door, though I chatted with a neighbor, hooking up his grandkids’ rainy-day laptops to the only plug in the park. We traded car stories, all the water in the sky now descended. What else was there to talk about? Dieselgate errors and omissions.

“The time was ripe for the fascist solution.”