Objects of My Affection

Behind the wheel far from the city, whipping by wide-open land, I pull alongside a truckload of old tires tossed haphazardly upon each other, a giant heap cruising down the highway. I overhear their conversation, their moaning about how hard it is to be a passenger after all the years of transporting others. And while they could look at if differently, could relish the chance to relax, they feel old and useless and can’t celebrate the passage from carrier to cargo.

Further along, I turn onto a narrow road that runs through trees with occasional clearings to the left and right. At the base of a hill, I see a Christmas tree farm, field after field of pines being raised for slaughter.

The smallest and youngest trees, just a couple feet tall, glance to the neighboring field of older and taller pines. “We’ll be there soon,” one youngster says with a sigh to his neighbor.

They know where it all leads.

Seeing these budding trees makes me sad, makes me think how our holiday is not a holiday for them. Makes me feel their glum resignation. And later I share my experience with my friend who passed by the same farm on her way to meet me and hadn’t seen it that way. But on her way back over the hill two days later, she calls me and says, “I couldn’t see the trees in the same way as before. I imagined them talking, and I felt sad.

Lately, all sorts of objects have been speaking to me. I hear my clock talking to my stereo. I imagine my car complaining to the road. I write the dialogue of the ocean with the shore.

And as these objects come to life, they draw me in more than the people around me, more than those who pass me in their cars, who shop beside me for food. I find myself more interested in what the celery is saying to the carrots, to what the dish soap is saying to the paper towels. These conversations are new and fresh, comedic and heartfelt. They make me smile even when they make me cry.

What can it possibly mean that I want to a have a drink with my drink rather than the person sitting beside me?



Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I don't know what it means. Let me know when you find out. Have a great weekend! Thanks for all the fabu comments on my blog this week. We are more alike than you think.

Anonymous said...

I like this perspective and completely understand that sometimes, those conversations that you've described here are much more meaningful than the interaction between humans. I think it absolutely speaks of our times; I think you show perfectly, how disconnected people are these days and how self-absorbed life has become. So that objects that normally without a voice, become vibrant.

Anonymous said...

I think it means you're a writer.

Emily said...

I also sometimes hear the voices of objects. This was beautifully rendered. I like the new photo on the blog as well!

Anonymous said...

Ditto what "Cover Your Mouth" said. I love when you personify objects, and Brain, Humor, etc. They are wonderfully imaginative pieces. They take me in completely, and though they leave me with a smile, I'm also sad to get to the end. I postpone the parting by reading it again, and again ... but alas, even then I am still sad to leave. Bring more!

Girlplustwo said...

beautiful post. i too, when i give myself space and time to listen, wonder how the car feels when we push it to keep going, and how tired books must get.

Anonymous said...

I would not have tagged this as "fantasy" at all. I think you are probably closer to seeing reality than the rest of us.