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Things I Box Up

… and why do I have to be an artist and paint blood cells on lampshades in a bath towel and barbecue pineapples in the rain…

Story and Photos by Vico LaCava - pablocouch@gmail.com

George Washington photo©Vico LaCava

With the development of the integration of words such as “retrospectively” and “moving forward” into my vocabulary came the looming realization that my susceptibility to hangovers and impartialness to Justin Beiber were, in fact, the beginning stages of irreversible aging. The getting old part I could handle fine, with the alarm setting and health insurance shopping, but I struggled deeply with the drone and piercing audibility of my ticking internal clock, a constant countdown of when it would all be over, done, cold. I function alright at work, routing phone calls, photocopying body parts, drinking wine from Dixie cups, but always in the back of my head I taunt the edge of sanity with the impracticality of human life. Then, when I get home, I look dependently to my shirtless lover from the edge of our cheap suede sofa and press him manically to tell me why people are evil and hurtful and hateful, and what is the point, and what if there’s not one, and what do I want, and am I doing enough with my life, and why can’t I be ignorant and simple, and why do I have to be an artist and paint blood cells on lampshades in a bath towel and barbecue pineapples in the rain, and why can’t I just be a math teacher and enjoy things unstimulating like fucking soup and sitcoms, and he leans over and kisses my forehead and tells me we have a beautiful life, but I secretly feel unresolved and interrupted and tired. This happens kind of a lot.

Power Rangers photo©Vico LaCava

Yesterday, my mom called me and asked me to help her move a mattress across a spare bedroom. I knew this was an excuse to hang out with me, her and her sweet southern hospitality, her short blonde hair crispy and flammable, her dangling silver bracelets- but I fell for it anyway. I dropped by the house I grew up in only partially announced and, though intending to do some heavy lifting, immediately found myself on the cold tile floor, my long legs folded over themselves, digging through boxes of my elementary school files – my birth announcement, a photo of me P90Xing with the Power Rangers. My mom wanted them out of her garage, her with her closet organizers and HGTV, and I figured consolidating my budding life’s memorabilia into a single box was more than liberal.

Two boxes in, beneath a painting of George Washington with pinto beans for teeth, I found a faded paper booklet titled “Original Writings” and, within that, a short piece I’d written when I was 8 called “My Wish.” It was typed, with a single tab indentation, on what was probably the first computer I’d ever bled into long before Marcella Greene sobbed in my arms because her daddy had touched her and long before Victor in biology drove his fancy car off a cliff and far before my friend Jessie Renee Vincent died one day for no reason while brewing coffee in her kitchen:

“My wish is to have more love and no more bad guys. I will try to care for more people and will help them with their life. I wish I could stop every bad thing in this world. I want love forever.”

I want love forever.

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