1/25/12

Sometimes at Publix, It's Not About Parking as Close as You Can to the Door, but to the Cart Corral

Dear Blog,

I haven't written to you this year, a year in which I've cut my hair and shaved my beard: a new look for a new year. A year for which I went beyond making New Year's resolutions and constructed instead 10 Initiatives for Paul Haney's 2012. Ask nicely and I'll show you.

In less than three months, I'll be done with this Master's program and looking for work. I've got my sights set on train travelin' this summer, and plan to record my sojourn in a blog. If you can't write at home, write at the coffee shop. If you can't write at the coffee shop, write in the park. If you can't write in the park, write on a train, or wait till the next city. If you can't write on a train or in the next city, forget it and get a job.

See what I did there? Anaphora? Antithesis? Parallelism? Repeating that "If..., write...." My friend A--- could tell you that exact rhetorical device. She's a poet, and she remembers those things--like zeugma, and tmesis. A---'s been prolific with her blog this year. She must have a motive. Something to aspire to. The other night a group of us stood in her kitchen looking up what song was #1 on the day we were born. Mine was "Let's Hear It for the Boy." Someone else's was "I Think We're Alone Now," the Tiffany version. One guy had Dolly Parton's unrivaled anthem to the working class: "9 to 5." 

What a way to make a livin'.

But you got dreams [the boss]'ll never take away.

"That's the best song ever!" I yelled.

"I'll have to take your word for it," said the guy.

No, really. "9 to 5." Does it get any better? BTO's "Takin' Care of Business" is close. Dire Strait's "Money for Nothing" is closer. Van Morrison's "Cleaning Windows" is probably the closest. (See what I did there?) But nothing compares to Dolly tumblin' outta bed and stumblin' to the kitchen, pourin' herself a cup of ambition, beltin' it out with all us workadays behind her.

Tonight after class, I went to Publix. I picked up a box of cordon bleu in the frozen meat section and quickly put it back after reading the ingredients. A man across from me said, "they didn't raise the price, they reduced the quantity."

I looked up. "Oh yeah?" I said. He was bald and overweight.

"So you don't feel screwed until you run out." 

I slipped away and saw that his cart was empty except for three gallons of whole milk in the child seat. Later, while waiting for deli meat, he strolled by and I saw he had added one item: a bag of Publix crispy chicken fingers.

A new year, rhetorical terms, trains, Dolly Parton, the man from Publix. What do these things have in common? I don't know. Get off my back already.

Love,
Paul


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