Thursday, January 20, 2011


anonymous reports relate that db moved last week, which is strange because he still seems to be living at the place. we've got twelve roommates there, but i have to think it was db i shared the last of my corn fritters with on saturday, because all the ordinary friends and drifters who come through on slow days at the place hate my cooking. that's just one of the things that made db special.

i'll be sad to see him go, if only because there is no other person at the place who shares my interest in well-woven carpets and serial purchasing. db and i have to walk barefoot, no matter what anyone says. i've never understood people's obsession with wearing shoes in their own homes. it's like buying a protective covering to put inside all your clothing.

no one hates clutter more than me; i realize it can be frustrating to stumble upon a stripe of mud or a leftover olive when you're walking around. the thing people need to remember though is that the best experiences in life involve a surrender to vulnerability. it is precisely the control over chaos and our need to minimize the risk involved in these cultivated vulnerabilities that has produced the main artifacts of our culture.

with db around, i could trade off mornings and nights vacuuming and sweeping the place, to keep the dirt-to-floor ratio at an ideal level. feet are forgiving creatures, but they never give up their dulled sensitivity until you've prepared a spotless environment for them. think of your feet as wooly little lambs that have just been shaved. they're used to the warmth and protection of their wool, but in the case of feet this artificial barrier of sock and footwear is denying everyone's foot lambs their true calling.

feet should be the sensory foundation of home life. the experience of a good carpet is something like drinking a hot beverage in winter. it provides comfort and warmth that outlast the duration of physical contact with the floor. just by taking a five-minute lap through the drawing room each morning, i warm myself for a day of asphalt and second-hand anger.

db and i could even tell when our carefully shod roommates had experienced a little of the foot massage provided by our prized imported carpets. we're not particular about hand versus machine woven, because the texture and uniformity of the fibers is more important than who's had their hands on them for how long.

with our roommates though, there are days when we see a careless footfall, perhaps a little glide of slick heel and wool fiber, that reminds us of why we work so hard to preserve the sanctity of our carpets. every one of our roommates goes through a careful education process, where we insist not on the removal but the proper cleaning of shoes. like a border protection agency, the roommates will do the work for themselves once they've caught a glimpse of the wonders offered by the apartment's floors. we used to think we had to drill the system in to them, but the purity of the system means that education is commitment. we've learned to live this way.

it's this thorough buy-in that puzzles me when it comes down to db's departure. i know he has other passions in his life, but most heresies are accompanied by firm declarations of new conviction, not silent departure and darkness.

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