Godfrey’s Ma was a pack-rat, as was my stepmother, Mrs Gibberflat. Wisdom undisputed did the two of them in odd way posess he told me this story long ago, as we sat below the summit of Mt Sogstat.
This sunset is the color of Harvard Beets said I. Godfrey agreed, it’s in the swirly tufts, that smudge the clouds pink. The memory of Ma rinsing beets in the sink is why I so love to spend time outside..though beets grow outdoors, a chap can always find a place to hide.
Tell me your story I said, taking his hand, no more thought of beets so late on such a lovely day, I will tell you of Pamela, he softly spoke, she only ever threw one thing away.
The first inkling Godfrey had about Pamela, is that perhaps she never threw anything out..She picked him up hitching near Lytton, her van a midden of objects strewn about. She was a collector without any doubt. At his feet where he sat he was boot deep in books, jars, horse halters, ropes and a Pizza Pamela was taking home for their tea.
My second inkling came when Pamela invited me, said she collected people, with enthusiasm, said Godfrey. It was not far to Pamela’s driveway, the hay was high in her yard that she never mowed, she said mind the dump truck and derelict cars, I can’t be bothered having them towed.
For lack of dishes we ate dinner from the box, there were many stacked high, she ate Pizza a lot. We had yummy ice tea in frosty jam jars, for dessert the cream buns I had bought, I never throw anything out she beamed, folding the bun wrapper she had licked clean.
The third inkling Godfrey had came with the bunk, on the porch where he slept neath the arbor of grapes overhead, the most comfy futon he ever had had as a bed. At dawn Pamela, with a swish of the drapes (for the house lacked a door) appeared with coffee and explained “that is what the Pizza boxes are for, sturdy furniture can be built and topped with corn-shuck mattress, once the crumbs are eaten, and olive bits consumed. I have a Pizza armchair in my sitting room.
You are a vagabond, just passing through, you dislike beets, but I will share this with you. The only thing I ever threw away, she told Godfrey, was fear of what society expected of me.
“Keep a spotless house, do not guffaw or behave oddly, wear your teeth and cardigan, clean under things when you go out, you will not attract a husband if you look like a tram-smash, or smell like cats or Saurkraut.
I love my job in the charity shop, sorting the goods good folk have given away, bring kilted hitch-hikers home like you, and every other day, walk with my gentleman friend, Mr Yell at lunch down by the petting zoo.
In winter time I put the door back on the house, curl up cold days by the fire and read, I make tomato soup with vegetables I have preserved. Amid the chaos of the whirled I have all that I need. Pamela the pack-rat threw something out, she threw out fear of judgement, Godfrey wrote this in pen on a telephone pole, as he thumbed for a ride, he wrote bold in pen, I will carry her story across the miles, that I may one day return again.