Friday, January 10, 2003

I find that I am utterly riveted by
The Web Fridge Project going on over at Friday Fishwrap, because I am the sort of compulsive-eavesdropper-who-can't-take-a-pee-in-someone-else's-house-without-also-taking-at-least-a-little-peek-if-not-snooping-outright-in-their-medicine-cabinet-because-I'm-pathologically-nosy person who is, not to put too fine a point on it, just dying to know what's in someone else's fridge. One of the nice things about being a writer is that it helps me rationalize to myself those inappropriately-curbed tendencies toward inquisitiveness (i.e., Compulsive Snoopiness). Being a writer can also function as a really lame excuse when caught red-handed while indulging in Compulsive Snoopiness. In other words, if caught in a highly embarrassing and incriminating act of Compulsive Snoopage, just claim that you are engaged in Important Writerly Research. Sometimes you may even actually get away with this. Sometimes you may just end up having to make an abrupt and ignominious bee-line for the nearest exit.

I love the whole notion of The Web Fridge Project. At one point in time I even wrote a short story in which the opening sequence catalogued the contents of the protagonist's fridge, invoking the intimacy of the refrigerator, and suggesting that it was no different from opening up a person and getting to take a long good look at their insides. Okay, it was a very, very, very bad story, but it was my very first fiction workshop ever. At any rate, I'm still fascinated by this notion, and I sometimes use similar writing exercises in my classes. For example, cataloguing the contents of a purse, briefcase or backpack, or cataloguing the contents of a grocery cart, or medicine cabinet, and reflecing on what these contents might reveal about a either a real or imagined person/character.

By the same token, I find myself feeling rather bashful about exposing the contents of my own fridge . . . it feels like a private space in some respects, and the whole Fridge Flashing Phenomenon has a somewhat titillatingly exhibitionist patina to it all. Granted, I fully admit that I can be eclectically eccentric about what I am or am not bashful about. For example, I have no problem reading either very personal poems or sexually explicit poems, or poems Chock Full of Lesbian Content (my Japanese Mother, by the way, really hates it when I do that!) on stage in a strange city in front of an audience full of complete strangers. On the other hand, I tend to me a bit more private about my living space. If I've actually invited you over and let you inside my house, then I probably like you a whole lot . . . particularly if I let you inside my writing studio/room. Also, I'd pretty much rather have rectal cancer than have to talk about money, which always seems like a shameful, weird and funky topic that's way too personal to discuss in public. I am also deeply and profoundly private when it comes to my feet. I don't know why. I just am.

All of this, of course, is leading, in a roundabout way to the eventual posting of my Web Fridge Project picture. A Frigidaire Strip-Tease of sorts, I suppose. Although now I've built it up way too much and it will be disappointingly dull. So here it is:

My Fridge

Yeah, like I said. Way too much build up.

In examining the photograph of my fridge, though, I noticed some rather disconcerting trends. For example, in the top left-hand side of the freezer, note the bizarre abundance of frozen winter squash, as well as the plenitude of cut frozen okra. What's that about? I mean, did I really think the store was going to run out of frozen winter squash and cut frozen okra at any foreseeable time in the future?? Also note the weird plethora of pickles: baby dills, crisp Texas okra pickles, dill spears, to name a few . . . as well as the compulsive, multiple-item "stocking up" in duplicate, triplicate, and sometimes quadruplicate(!) of favored food items (also known as Artichoke Heart-Friendly Food, and officially listed as such in the Official Manual to the Care and Feeding of Artichoke Hearts). Now, do any of you remember my post a few months back where I was having a bit of fun at my parents' expense due to their obsessive-compulsive need to hoard and "stock up" on things? Click here to either refresh your memory or get caught up so you can see where I'm going with this.

And where I'm going with this is that I'm chagrined! I'm deeply, deeply chagrined! I'm beginning to think that perhaps the nut doesn't fall all that far from the tree.
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 3:07 AM |
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Beyond Heart Mountain
Year of the Snake

Poems by Artichoke Heart
Songs for a Rainy Season
Toothpick Warriors
Snake Wife
Happy Hour
Girl With A Bowl On Her Head

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