Tuesday, February 24, 2004


Finding boxes is different than it used to be. Cardboard furniture could be to blame. I'm not saying it is for sure, but it's possible. Used to be I'd scope out a grocery store and figure out what day bananas were delivered. Among the mobile poor, the midnight movers, banana boxes were the ticket. If you couldn't find a place to rent to you, you could live out of those boxes for a long time. Occasionally there was slimy residue left in the boxes, bleeding, I think, from the stems. But it was easily removed with the paper liner.

Novice movers try to find big boxes. They usually do this only once. After finding a refrigerator box and cramming the entire contents of the kitchen including small appliances, the rock collection and an entire library of hardcover books into it, moving the box to the dodge van becomes an issue. But if boys are involved, and when aren't they? they will keep trying until there is a fight.

These days, most large stores hire someone to break down the boxes, and get some sort of kickback for recycling. I'm not against recycling, don't get me wrong, I just appreciate good boxes and hate to see them go to waste. Yesterday I walked past a box bin at the local grocery store and it was a cardboard bonanza! I filled the bed of my truck and drove home slow.

I have three wooden pear boxes left from my teens -- crates -- and they are full of books already. They double as furniture, still, have since the late seventies. Early seventies. I forget how fucking old I am. When I was a kid, I lived in pear orchards. We picked, packed, sorted, canned, thinned, and lined boxes for pears. Bosc, Comice, D'Anjou, Bartlett. In late spring and early summer, we built forts out of the boxes, big as houses. It was where I first thought about kissing. I don't think I stole the boxes, but then again, not alot seems like stealing to me.

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