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Apology 22: The Un-bought

Tender Loving Stuff
Haul Out Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Dear Un-bought,

I am sorry that I did not buy you, and instead, left you in the store for who knows what kind of person to take home.

Please accept my apologies, all you clothes that I tried on during my latest shopping trip. I bought only a little cardigan that I can roll up and carry in my mini backpack. As tickled as I am with that purchase, I do feel a little twinge of guilt about the rest of you. I particularly regret leaving you, cute yellow tank top. You must be praying for more hot weather. There is a lot of competition in sleeveless cotton this year.

I would like to spend my way out of this recession. I really would. I am accustomed to helping in this way. My credit history will testify to it. However, I am a baby boomer looking toward retirement. Our little house is already filled with accumulated manufactured stuff. Following the examples of some friends and relatives, I did consider renting a storage locker to stockpile my old things so I could buy new. But paying for one would cut into my ability to buy more stuff. I am caught between a rock and a hard place.

I understand the exigencies of the faltering international macro-economy. Each country needs to increase their GNP and tax base. I am experiencing the same dilemmas. If I am not spending and paying taxes, meager arts grants, which are few and far between at the best of times, will not be there to partially support the work that pays the bills, and I will need a bailout to assist economic recovery.

Forever Yours,

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Apology 21: Generic Object

Tender Loving Stuff
2 Haul Out Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Generic Object
Garage/Studio
On the Lane

To The Object It May Concern:

Please accept my apology for not writing you an individualized letter. As soon as I owned up to my responsibility for the harm I have caused to all the objects in my possession and to things that have slipped through my fingers, I have been swamped with the tidal wave proportions of my To Do list.

You must think I am a really bad person. It has come as quite a shock to me that you might be right. I have always considered myself more careful with my things than most people. In the North American context, I probably am. On my death bed, will I regret that I did not shop enough? I doubt it. Flying over all the garbage dumps across the world on my way through the clouds, I might be appalled at the amount I contributed to the heap.

I am sending this generic letter as a temporary measure. I promise to write a full, itemized disclosure of my thoughtless behavior toward you and your company. I will rectify the situation to the best of my abilities.

Sincerely,

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Apology 20: Cards and Letters

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Tender Loving Stuff
Haul Out Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Dear Postcards, Cards and Letters,

You are the discarded costumes and props from the drama/soap opera/comedy that is my life’s story. You stood in for short stories never written and scripts never captured on video. You provide synopsis. But how long do I keep you? Until you’ve yellowed, been spilled on, or begin to disintegrate? How many times will I read you? Is any number enough to provide me with adequate memory of the moments you document?

I don’t know what I can do or say to help. I need to rid myself of you, and the excess of stuff.

Forever Yours,

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Apology 19: Sketchbooks

Tender Loving Stuff
2 Haul Out Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

The Mermaid Kicked off Both her Shoes
Representing the Journals
Garage/Studio
On the Lane

Dear Both Shoes:

Is it really a loss that I have hidden you away? Am I undervaluing you by keeping you in a box?

I look at what gets attention in the art press: beautiful artists creating works of grandeur using the best of their talents. I know that I have a poorly developed ego, but I feel the self-importance to share these insights with the rest of the world. I am surrounded by things I have made, and materials for things I have plans to make.

I am repeating myself: filling journals with ruminations on consumerism. As I transcribe my meandering words on the computer, I know that this is how life is. I do not need to remember each moment.

Sincerely,

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Apology 18: Plastic Containers

Dear Plastic Container,

For some reason I scanned the handwritten letter I wrote to you. Other letters were handwritten too but I didn’t photograph or scan them and now I can’t find them. They will likely turn up after I post the apology letters 2 weeks from today. For the present, I’ll leave you feeling special.

TLS

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Apology 17: VHS Tape

Tender Loving Stuff
2 Haul Away Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Video Home System Tape
Garage/Studio
On the Lane

Dear VHS Tape:

I am sorry that I played you for the last time. While spinning around, you probably realized that you were being dubbed into digital form. Take comfort in knowing that the images and sound you recorded will still be available on my hard-drive. You will be joining all your sibling tapes of all sizes in the dump.

The fact that this happened was beyond my control. You were never meant to be a long-term, forever thing. I am not an inventor of technology, merely one of its many users. Throughout the last fifteen years I have produced videos as part of installations and for personal events. During that time I went through VHS, SVHS, Beta, Hi-8 and Mini DV. I am currently using High Def digital setting on my still camera and dream of purchasing a broadcast-quality camera in the near future. Sometimes I think the built-in web cam serves the purpose. I have edited the tapes on an old Amiga, PCs and MAC using various programs and applications, some of whose names I cannot even remember.

What must you think of me?! How you must have balked at my desertion! You recorded faithfully, with discretion and accuracy, the images and sounds in my life. I trusted you to tell my stories, and to represent me honestly and kindly. I surrendered control of my images and words to you. However, technology marches on. I can only promise to remember you fondly when I use new, better quality memory cards.

Sincerely,

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P.S. I do have some reservations about your cousins in the ubiquitous security cameras. To my knowledge, a lens has never cracked from looking at me. But really, is it my fault that I look like hell when they roll, even when the light is really low? I refuse to apologize if they catch me at a bad moment.

Apology 16: Flower Pots

01IMG_0112Tender Loving Stuff
Haul Out Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Dear Flower Pot,

I am sorry to leave you outside all winter. I simply have nowhere inside to store you.

You can thank the former next door neighbor for being here at all. Before he decided to move to a bigger house, we amicably chatted over the fence almost daily. He thought a 7 foot fence would be a selling feature. Possibly it was. If he hadn’t erected a treated-wood fence, I wouldn’t have to plant my herbs in pots. I found the information tag on a slat and looked up the MSDS on the internet. It said to plant food crops 3-4 feet away from the fence. I don’t want to worry about food grown in my own backyard. That was four years ago so the chemicals might have washed away by now.

I do like the way you look in the row with the other pots behind the house. Since you are ceramic, made from earth, you probably adjust better to temperature extremes than the pots made from petrochemicals. The metal ones are lined with Styrofoam to keep the boxwoods warm. I don’t plant food crops in them. The plants haven’t grown much in two years but they are still alive.

I plant new basil every spring, but your oregano survives the winter. By summer you’ll feel better again. I promise. Maybe I should take that back. A south facing wall can get pretty steamy in July.

Forever Yours,

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P.S. Sorry about the mess of pots and stuff under the porch. I keep meaning to take the bedding plant pots back to the nursery instead of throwing them in the garbage.