Burned 6/15/2007 by Chris Wayan
This guy lived for years in our ground-floor flat. He never changed anything, cleaned anything, or checked anything. It was pretty run-down, but he was contented with it.
When he finally moved out (to the suburbs, with his new girlfriend. You CAN teach an old hermit new tricks!) the place had to be totally renovated--new floor, new bathroom, new walls, some new windows... during the renovation, I found a mystery door in a wall, opened it (yes, this is straight out of a thousand dreams... but this particular time it happened for real) and an ironing board fell out. It missed me, clattered on the floor... A 1930s style wooden board, obviously meant to swing out ready to use... but it wasn't attached properly anymore.
So I turned the useless little closet into spice shelves and put the ironing board out on the deck. And stared at it. I was fascinated. Gorgeous wood grain--hypnotic! No one today would waste such great wood on a mere ironing board. Even with all its cuts and scratches and burns, it was strangely beautiful.
And then one sunny day I got a magnifying glass and started adding MORE burns to it. The smoke smelled good--smelled real. At first I did random practice burns, then spirals and curves, like the paths of subatomic particles in a cloud chamber. I don't know why.
But after a while the burns turned to lines and the lines to cartoons. And they told a story. About--what else?--irony. That postmodern irony everyone but me finds so witty and sophisticated. I just find it bland and safe. Like ironed clothes. I prefer the rumples of honesty.
So I pictured a way to do it. Have an ironectomy! Just have a surgeon pull the iron out of my heart.
The words say:
I grew sick of irony.It's so tall and skinny (rather like me) that it's hard to see all at once, so here's a full-sized view. Just page down.
I tell you, I was steamed!
So I got an ironectomy.
Next, I'll get a sincerity transplant!
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