Posted by Job O Brother, April 21, 2009 07:30pm | Post a Comment
Directions: Imagine Mr. Brother living another day, as always, with music playing. Whether it’s one of his trusty iPods, or his home stereo, or working the soundtracks section of Amoeba Music Hollywood, Mr. Brother is eating, sonically, with the mouths of his ears.

To simulate this experience, as you read the below story of a day lived, you will be given certain music clips to play. These are inserted to provide you with the same tunes Job was hearing as he was doing what you’ll be reading.

For example, while he was writing the above directions, he was listening to this:

I’m moving. My boyfriend and I are finally shacking up together. We had to pick between our two homes: my tiny bachelor, located in the heart of Hollywood, with decaying floors, rotted walls, and endless episodes of water and power failures – you know, what real estate agents refer to as a building “with real character and Old World charm,” or his two-floor townhouse on the Miracle Mile, a building so nice that even the landlord keeps a room in it, and the only creatures that crawl around are the snails in the pretty gardens out front.

I said, “How about I move in with you.”

So, I’ve been packing up my collections of antique religious paintings, record albums, spooky bad-luck charms, record albums, various flavors of vinegar, record albums, biographies on various dead people I have crushes on, record albums, and plants.

Because I own so many framed pictures (my goal has always been to have enough wall hangings so as to never reveal what color my room is painted) I found that I needed some string to bind armfuls of them together, so as to move them. Since I also needed some boxes, I hooked myself up to my iPod and headed to my local Staples.

After scanning the aisles and being temporarily distracted by the multitudes of Sharpies that are available these days (“It’s not like when I was a youngster!”) I found that string was nowhere to be found. I asked the cashier:

“Where can I find string?”

He furrowed his brow.

“String?” he asked, confounded.

“Yeah. String.” Now my brow was furrowed, too, because I didn’t understand why he seemed so bewildered. He turned to a fellow co-worker.

“Do we have any string?” he asked him. This other co-worker, a supervisor or something, walked towards me.

“You want string?” he asked me.

“Yeah,” I said, surprised that this simple request was causing so much commotion.

“What for?” he asked me.

At this point, I stuttered. I was so overwhelmed with all the many uses of string that I could barely mention one. Besides, why was this even a conversation? When you ask for milk or eggs at a grocery store, they tell you an aisle number and you’re done – there’s no mental pow-wow over the why’s and wherefore's.

“To… to tie things together,” I faltered, feeling so stupid that I had to explain what string was for.

“We have twist-ties,” the supervisor offered.

“No,” I answered, “I need string. To tie bundles together.” He shook his head.

“We don’t have string.”

I bought the boxes and left, astonished that they didn’t have string at an office supply mega-store, and annoyed that they made me feel as though I were requesting an item that was preposterously obscure. I mean, gimme a break people – I was asking for string, not a hinge for my pewter inkwell!

Fearing the worst, I dared to shop at my nearby Wrong-Aid. I call it “Wrong-Aid” because I never get in and out of there without some kind of cockamamie challenge. Either there will be an old man in line in front of me who disputes the price of York Peppermint Patties -- “This coupon says they’ll be five cents each – not six!” or the only flavor of chips they’ll have is “tripe ‘n’ marshmallow” or I’ll slip on a pool of urine that a set of toddler twins left near the beer section, or I’ll be trying to figure out which type of Advil is best for my headache when a ghost ship of pirates will fall on top of me. Whatever it is, whenever I shop Wrong-Aid, the only guarantee is that I’ll leave with a frown and a story.

And yet, lo and behold – they had string! I was so happy that I let my guard down and was startled when the cashier informed me that they were “out of coins” so I couldn’t use cash. I would’ve committed suicide, but I still had things to pack and a blog to write. So I guess you sorta saved my life, dear reader. So thanks. Thanks for life and everything.

Hopefully this is my last report from Hollywood. Miracle Mile, here I come!

Relevant Tags

Restiform Bodies (1), Melanie (1), Crass (6), Mozart (7), Zhou Xuan (1), Soundtrack Series (5), Hollywood (86), Miracle Mile (8), Los Angeles (205), Ipod (21), Sharpies (1), String (1), Staples (1), Rite Aid (1)