Alright, so National Poetry Month is done, and with it the poem-a-day project. That was exhausting, but also a nice way to take my mind off of my thesis. I like projects like this. Don’t know if any of the poems are keepers, but they definitely gave me some ideas for the future.
There is a new project his month. I am in my last class as a grad student at Western. It combines nonfiction/autiobiography with photography. I thought it would be fun, especially since I already have the machinery of a blog up and running, to do my final project here. I think blogs are similar to photographs in that they are both tied to a specific moment in time, but kind of drift along into the future, bouncing off whoever might stumble into them.
For autobiography? I’m going to take you on a tour of my apartment. We spend a lot of our time at home, but I think we forget that we’re surrounded by totems to our personal histories. How you decorate changes every time you move. Some things get donated, or given away. Some things just don’t fit the vibe of a new place. And some things, the most Darwinian of all your belongings, find a place in every subsequent place you live.
The first thing you need to know about my apartment is that there’s a cow on the couch. His name is Big Mac. He’s always there. I don’t pay any attention to him. He’s not mine. He’s Amanda’s. She’s had him for a long time.
A couple of weeks ago I got really bad food poisoning from eating at McDonald’s. Big Mac was by my side the entire time, always eager to put me in a better, ahem, moo’d. I am going to hell for that pun.
I really should know better when it comes to eating at McDonald’s. I worked there for three years, ate more Big Mac’s than I would like to think of. The last time I was in my current professor’s class, I also wrote about McDonald’s. My Grandma gives me $5 in gift cards to McDonald’s every year for my birthday.
I like gifts that you can count on. Last week I was checking my mail at school and I found two sheets of Pac-Man stickers, circa 1982, the year I was born. I can’t say I was expecting these specific items, but it was only a matter of time before Yellow struck again with something awesome. Not long ago, it was haikus written on Post-Its. Before that it was Nintendo trading cards, about as old as the Pac-stickers.
What’s great about the stickers, besides reminding me of the Atari that was my only gaming system until 1989, is that Pac-Man kind of bookends my grad school experience. In one of my first classes, I wrote a poem that compares a pie chart to a Pac-mouth. Not the most original thing, of course, but I remember Yellow commenting that my choice to use that particular metaphor was how she knew we would get along. The poem just got published a few weeks ago, my first publication outside of my own school. I got the stickers a few weeks later, and in a few weeks I graduate.
I thought at first that I might preserve the sheets. They were nearly thirty, and yet they were still in such good condition. I decided to add them to my own history, though, and stuck them to the front of my record player. It looks like Pac-Man is about to eat the start button.
As long as that record player works, Pac-Man will always be about to eat that start button, and then one day he will. And then he will turn around and make those ghosts pay.