Friday, July 15, 2011

Redemption Value


I bought a beautiful bottle of water.  I started staring at it when I was trying to avoid writing. I blamed a new friend for distracting me.  I turned on Pandora.  I blamed Ingrid Michaelson for distracting me.  I pitied her for just wanting to be o.k.  I can't identify.  I perpetually, always, consistently, relentlessly want to be more than o.k.  Except on airplanes.  On airplanes I just want to be o.k.  Back to writing and avoiding writing.  Staring at my water bottle I saw in all caps on the back in bold, larger print than anything else:

REDEMPTION VALUE:
$.05

That's only for Connecticut, New York, and Oregon.  Here in Virginia...nothing.  There's nothing but the consuming and the throwing away.  No value for taking it back where you got it.  Note:  I don't throw my bottles away.  I leave them places:  beside chairs on the floor at meetings, other people's houses because they offer me tea, at the gym, on windowsills.  I don't face the end of my water bottle.  Other people have to recycle my bottles.  They better not be just throwing them away or I would GET SO MAD.  I get down the road and I think damn, there goes another water bottleThis beautiful bottle claims to hold water that is "eternally pure".  Well, at least something in this picture IS eternal.  I have re-used this particular beautiful bottle about 10 times, which makes me better than o.k. but far from perfect.

a buying back, a repurchasing, a conversion of paper money, a releasing, a ransoming...salvation

I wonder...(in the way Carrie does on Sex in the City right before the music starts)...am I holding on to anything for ransom?  Is there anything that I would like to buy back?  Repurchase?

Yes.  I would like to have back my ability to love rollercoasters.  My stomach can't take it anymore.  Does that mean something metaphorically like, "If you can't take the rollercoaster, stop being a drama queen." (no exclamation point available where drama is dead).

I'd buy back (with all the babysitting money I never saved) the feeling I had on the last day of 7th grade. Riding in the back of a truck on the way to a sleepover.  Total joy.  Total freedom.  Other endings have been gleeful, but never as free and windy as that one.  Sometime after that laws got wicked serious about seatbelts and I started missing people. Endings got bittersweet instead of just sweet. 

I'm holding approximately 10 books for ransom and their owners either don't remember or don't negotiate with kidnappers.

"You did then what you knew how to do.  When you knew better, you did better." 

Maya, Maya, Maya, why you gotta do this to a girl?  Why do you have to expect so much?  Why do you want me to be more than o.k.?   

When do you just STOP screwing up?  When do you know better AND do better?  I'm not talking about being perfect.  I'm talking about old mistakes.  When do you stop buying the unhealthy peanut butter?  When do you start opening your mail every day?  When do you accept an apology and move on?  When do you mean "I'm sorry" and then be sorry enough to actually CHANGE?  When did pouring bleach down your drain become an act of rebellion?  Why do you keep telling that stupid story the same stupid way?  Can you stop projecting your stuff?  It just got all over my new shoes.  Can you pull the venom out of your sting?  Can you stop stinging (or singing)?  Are you re-infecting yourself with feelings?  You big dummy.

"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds."   

Bob, Bob, Bob...can you say more about this mental slavery?  I think the value of redemption is worth the drive to Oregon (and I know someone you can stay with).  It's worth pilgrimages.

There must be a place where blog promises go to die, so I won't promise to never buy another water bottle, but I'll say I know better and I'm going to do better.  I've been buying organic peanut butter for awhile.  I'll return those books.  I'll sing a freedom song (about being o.k.).