Second In A 34-Part Series
by Robert Smith
The past several days have been a whirlwind of panic, joy, and tears; such is what happens when something akin to winning a lottery happens in a person’s life. That’s been my experience since the unexpected piece of fine art found at Family Dollar entered my life. My mind has been clouded by memories of past events (my mother bellowing “This is why we can’t have good things in this house” keep seeping into my dreams, for some reason, as well as my father’s gibberish response of “bleah nja nja gia naja who cares”), so my restless nights have been hours of sleeplessness combined with thoughts of childhood breakfasts of Great Shakes and Space Food Sticks.
The biggest problem facing me: Where to put something I never want to miss? Where may I place this precious heirloom so that I can look at it constantly, as if to gaze into the eyes of an unattainable, beautiful woman? Finally, it hit me: I’m not in my den enough – this must be placed in my work office, where I spend most of my work hours dreaming of a better job. Hey, if I can find fine art in a store that primarily sells chewing gum, why not a new gig at The New Yorker?
But I digress. Scarcely able to breathe, I sat in my office chair, carefully cutting the box apart, taking out the beautiful clock/sculpture, and, with trembling hands, placing a Walgreen’s AA battery in the “Quartz” department in the back. Within one second, something unexpected and wondrous: SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! The sound of the clock beginning to work, as the bent, faded paint of the metal hour and second hands began to move. The sweep second hand – whoever this artist was, he or she thought of everything – slaps loudly against the other two hands, forcing them to move at five-minute intervals instead of one minute at a time, which obviously is a commentary on today’s jaded business mores and the corruption of the Bush Administration. To me, having to reset my office business clock every two minutes or so is a luxury; look what I get to look at while “working.” And that just-nuked hot dog is making me, for some reason, hornier than a frontier tent folder.
As you can see, these are joyous days for me, as Family Dollar has enriched my senses, buoyed my spirits, and set me back only $2.88. Soon to come: An overview of the luscious bounty of food treasures that Americans can buy at their local FD stores, some of which can be found nowhere else.
Some say that important art work such as the beauteous piece I have lucked into is part of the WalMart-ization of our land, that an American artist could have done work just as good.
I say bunk. I say that items with this sort of beauty, style, and value are the hub of our democracy; it is freedom’s way of evening the playing field, of dreams being realized, of the manufacturing of works of passion and innovation and style. It is a small dream coming to someone who was only looking for snacks.
Good gravy, this damn clock is fucking loud.
Robert Smith exclusively drives Ford automobiles, and recently earned a listing in Yellow Book.
© 2009 Robert Smith