Living in the lap of luxury

Posted by on Oct 20, 2006 in Reckless youth | 0 comments

I remember the day I realized that material objects would never become important enough to me that I could not do without them. I was living in New York in a one bedroom flat with my first husband. He had a propensity for haunting the Grenwich Village streets and making friends with the many odd characters who hung out there. On this particular night the little wife (me) was sitting home, barefoot and pregnant, when he burst in the door with a card carrying communist. You have it right folks; the red scourge had walked right into my little domestic corner of the world. Everything we owned in the world was in those two rooms and had been transported from Virginia in a Ford Econoline Van. We had a bed, a dresser, two bookcases built by me, a goodwill trunk, refinished by me, a rug, a sofa, a rocking chair given to me by my Mom, a table made of a door and screw on legs, and four directors chairs. On the trunk sat a really crappy stereo and a picture my brother had framed hung over the top. The communist, who had soft brown eyes, a wild Bolshevik style beard, and a bit of an unwashed look and smell, gazed an accusatory eye around our modest flat.

“You sure have a nice place here,” he said in a neutral tone. My husband immediately began to apologize for our shameless accumulation of consumer goods and blamed me for the problem. The soft brown eyes contained a question mark as they focused kindly on my own.

“Well”, I said. “I enjoy the few things we do have and don’t think I should have to apologize for them. I will say if they were all taken away tomorrow, I would be none the poorer, because I know what is truly valuable.” He turns to John with a jabbing finger pointed toward his heart.

“She’s a hell of a lot more honest than you are. You’re full of shit.”

John sputtered for a time trying to justify his position and attempted to hop on board the same take it or leave it train with me. It was way too late and he went down in flames in front of his new buddy. I listened to them rant for a bit, then got up and made a sandwich for the thin disheveled Marxist. He accepted it gratefully.

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