Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bereft Object No. 1


"Death comes, death comes."


Another weekend of hard prep work getting things ready for a whole slew of family to move in. More painting, more furniture rearranging. New light fixtures, etc.

Also, the much beloved O'Keefe & Merritt stove started falling apart on us, the door springs busted, the broiler refusing to light or stay lit. So on saturday I took her all apart and tilted her back so I could get underneath her, propped a footstool and a pile of books under so she couldn't crush my head, and spent the next three hours trying to fix the busted door springs. It's one of those deals kind of like fishing wires through the walls trying to wire a new outlet, you've got a flimsy hook you're trying to thread up into the hidden void between the oven and the broiler, and the hook has to grab onto a tiny knob on the back of the door hinge, then a steel cable hooks to that and runs through a pulley and down to a big spring that hooks into a hole on the bottom of the stove. There's one of these setups for each hinge on the oven door and the grillevator door. I managed to get both of the hinges on the oven door repaired and restrung, but the grillevator door is running on just the one hinge. I disassembled the broiler shut-off safety valve that was malfunctioning and not letting any gas run to the burner head. I reassembled that and tightened everything up and now she's running like a champ. While I had her stripped down I gave her a good overall bath in hot water and simple green, washed her and scrubbed off all the accumulated grease and grime, cleaned the oven racks and the inside of the oven and the broiler, the burner heads and drip pans, the back and sides, everywhere I could get to. Then I rubbed her all down with an old dog towel till she shined and glowed pure white like some holy thing.

Which she is.

Ready for Thanksgiving!


All that work was done as a kind of half-assed penance for some bad behavior on my part. Also I managed to put a pretty good strain or tear on the flexor tendon of my left index finger. It swole up pretty good and I can't really do much with it now. It wouldn't bother me so much if it wasn't my damn trigger finger.

Just when I think I'm just about the best thing since sliced bread I manage to put that notion out of contention in a pretty convincing way.

You could set your watch by it.


It is one thing to beat yourself up over imagined shortcomings, another one entirely to stand gape-mouthed at your own stupidity and bad acts.


That woman was pretty good about it, too. I am damn grateful to her for that.

She's a wonder, that one.


I feel like a great storm has gathered and is soon to set upon us. Nor will aught be left standing. Nor will aught be spared or left unchanged.

Me, I'm itching to throw open the shutters, strip buck naked, and stand howling in the teeth of it.

I don't believe that act will protect me nor any of those I am bound to try to save.


I think Hume is right about us being primarily emotionally driven, with the rational mind mostly just running around behind us, trying to tidy up. I don't know if it's a good idea to always be yearning to be better than you are, but I can't seem to accept that I'm good enough the way I am. I know myself too well for that. I think that probably, yes, I am not separate from the great universal groundless consciousness, not any more than anyone else. But also, I am running an operating system that is very primitive and error prone, so it might actually be a good idea to kind of fault-check my base suppositions from time to time, and, you know, defrag my hard drive and dump my cache of cookies.

Plus give myself a good degreasing and maybe rub myself all over with a fluffy towel.


I am grateful to be alive, and healthy, and loved. Employed and paid up. Sheltered and transported.

And given each day the wonderful puzzle of the entire universe to ponder and hang out in.


What did I ever do to deserve all these riches?

Not a damn thing.





Blogger Petit fleur said...

I love the line about throwing open the shudders, and .... I'm thinking I'm not going to be the only on who digs it.

To accept yourself as you are is a good thing if you can do it. Sometimes I think by not accepting ourselves, we are somehow buying into the rat race culture we're a part of. That's not to say that there isn't room for growth and continued education for all of us regardless of our station in life, but you don't have to be more than you are to be good and real and loved either.

The stove looks great btw.

Also, me and the side kick rewatched Being John Malkovich again a few nights ago. Zing!

4:41 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

That stove, she's a beauty and oh she will do well whether you stand in front of the storm naked or stand aside and ask it in the old fashioned way. Storm's gonna come either way cuz it's a storm. I adore you and your wife for reasons known and unknown. I have a candle on the ready for the rest of your family when it comes screaming in which it will. I would also like to send you my newest child big though she is the one you warned me about. I am connected to her now forever I know and it's okay it has just shivered my house from the roof down to the crawl space and guess what? I have the strength and grace and lack of crazies to help. Who knew? Don't know why. Maybe it's my turn and your turn too. Don't know why. I wish we could get drunk and talk is what.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

I say what Rebecca says. Of course. And I have a stove that looks almost exactly like that in the garage waiting to be put in the house I shall die in.
Otherwise, I am too emotional to say a god damned thing.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Steph(anie) said...

THAT, dear sir, is a thing of effing beauty.

7:42 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Been stopping by regularly, not commenting (the silence phase is upon me), but the photo at the top of this post was my complete undoing.

I want it. (She wrote, without shame.)

Glad you're reliably here.

9:04 PM  
Blogger 37paddington said...

it was my complete undoing, too.not just the photo. all of it. some days are hard and we wish to hide, but we keep showing up anyway.

you show up, scott. even when it's hard. that's why she loves you.

that's why we do too.

10:29 PM  
Blogger deirdre said...

well i can't think of a damn thing more to add to the mix of what has already been said, you're a wonder, and so is that stove, is it a double oven? never quite seen one like that.
I do have a great image now of your upcoming Thanksgiving though, chaotic, naked, rich with food and drink and tears and dishes and a fair bit of philosophizing that will all be forgotten in the rush and every injury forgiven.


7:03 AM  
Blogger susan t. landry said...

you guyz. i am pretty sure the world is coming to an end. i really, really hope the Dishwasher gets to do the Last Supper, and cook it on that gorgeous hearth; i want Rebecca to bring dessert. and Angella to do the Benediction.



7:13 AM  
Blogger LKD said...

Your bereft object looks like the skeleton of an angel, wings folded pathetically in death like a moth's.

I'm in love with Petit's misspelling of shutters. Throwing open the shudders gives that phrase a whole new meaning.

That bereft object is terribly beautiful.

O, brother, where art thou?

9:09 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

I will be back to say proper thanks, but I am utterly, utterly undone by your comments and the sheer bald fact of having each one of you in my life in a real and tangible way.

thank you, from my true heart.



7:26 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Love Being John Malkovich! That movie is as dark as anything I know. Good example of how fucked up we can be.

Thanks for everything!



6:35 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


That new girl you've got shaking your house to its foundation is bound to knock all kinds of things loose. Folks like that can really be great teachers, but they come in the form of demons because nothing else will scare you enough to make you learn the lesson you've been avoiding all your life that makes them show up in the first place.

I got no idea if that's true.

But it might be.



Ps- +1 on getting drunk and talking!

line it up!

6:38 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Ms. Moon-

If you've got a stove like that in your garage, you're sitting on a gold mine. Not a financial one, but man, I love cooking on ours!

I'm all emotional too.

It goes with the territory, maybe.



6:40 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Isn't she, though? I'm smitten by that stove.



6:41 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

T. Clear-

I am so glad that even if you maintain radio silence you still come by and hang out. You're an important presence here, no doubt about it.

All of us wounded soldiers need somewhere to hang out and nurse our wounds, esp. over a beer or a glass of wine.

If you send me your email I'd be happy to print out one of the bereft objects and send it to you. (Although I am pretty bad about actually getting those in the mail, as more than one person here can attest to. )



6:43 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I don't know what it is that binds us, but I know that it is there and it is real.

You make it easier on all of us just by being yourself and sharing that with us.

Thank you.



6:45 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


That stove. Not a double oven, but the door on the left is the magical "grillevator", an adjustable shelf under a massive broiler that lets me grill all kinds of stuff inside. Oven on the right side, as you're looking at it.

And yes, that's probably what our Thanksgiving will end up looking like!

You sustain us here, always.



6:48 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I completely agree with you. I feel exactly the same way.

I'm so glad you are here.



6:49 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I know, I loved that "shudders" image, better than the original!

I'm here, as always. You know that.

Good to know you're still kicking, girl. We're both to stubborn to admit defeat.



6:50 AM  
Blogger Sarcastic Bastard said...

I think Hume is right about us being primarily emotionally driven, with the rational mind mostly just running around behind us, trying to tidy up.

Sounds about right to me, too.

Also, I think we all need to stop worrying about being better and beating ourselves up. We are who we were born to be. I believe it was all pretty much set at birth. We can only try to do the best we can with what we have.

Blessings brother,


1:25 PM  
Blogger T. said...


Real mail.

I wait in anticipation.


7:07 PM  

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