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“I’ll Never See Such Arms Again, In Wrestling Or In Love”

a few weeks ago i was seized with the compulsion to write a haiku about the strange goings-on in my fridge. put simply, everything was going bad. i was inclined to attribute it to the massive quantity of expired cheese that we had seen fit to stock it with, leading to profound upset of the bacterial communities therein. quite possibly that doesn’t make any sense, but weak interest in explanation leads me now and then to embrace (in sort of a one-arm hug, more comradely over-the-shoulder i guess) weak correlation-as-causation. suffice to say, everything was going off at an alarming rate – soups were turning in a matter of days, and ancient, long-relied-upon condiments were blossoming into fantastic moulds and massive ferments overnight.

the poetry did seem uncharacteristic of me, so, having a reputation to maintain i of course resisted the urge, fortified by a solid confidence that the results would be at best poor, at worst tacky and insulting to the entire artistic history of japan.

the cheese was eaten, eventually, and equilibrium re-achieved, but i am sad to report that it was to be short-lived; for after a long, hard hike, my fridge is dying.

all the more frustrating perhaps because it seems to be warming at a clip just out of sync with the falling external temperature, such that it remains just shy of feasible to transfer the remaining contents to the out-of-doors to take advantage of the season’s mounting natural refrigeration.

you can imagine i’m upset. but this morning it dawned on me that all frustration aside, perhaps it was more appropriately a time of reflection, a time to look back over the long, obscene partnership the fridge and i have shared…

~

i remember the first time, five years ago, when a stray foot or broom caught some exposed wiring and the fridge responded by producing a lightning-bright, softball-sized explosion accompanied by an evacuation of some to-this-day-unidentified brown substance from its underbelly. we thought it deceased then as well, and somehow it took us several days before we realized that the it had blown a fuse and that half of our apartment was also powerless. unbelievably, it took several more such occurrences for us to realize that perhaps we should tie off the exposed ends of those wires, as opposed to merely routinizing the situation’s volatility (“careful when you’re sweeping you don’t touch the bottom of the fridge or it’ll explode and put out all the lights”).

 

~

~

 

or the first Christmas spent in town, when we assembled a clawful of other geographical orphans for the epic production and consumption of a homemade tofurkey (which resembled more than anything half a basketball filled with stuffing, but tasted utterly delicious). i had stowed a 2L torpedo bottle of cola in the freezer earlier in the day for rum & coke purposes. when i went to retrieve it, of course it slipped from my hands and crashed to the floor, bouncing a full foot high before upon second impact with the tiles exploding off its cap and rocketing, propelled by a jet of foaming pop, across the 20 metres of carpet to slam into the opposite wall. there it lay, exhausted and spent of its nectar (ew, did i really write that?), but no sabré’d champagne could have so earnestly and fittingly sounded the dinner knell for us, young punks clinging together for warmth against the winter chill.

~

~

living in montréal it is standard for one’s apartment to come unequipped with a stove or refrigerator, so of course when we moved down the street and up a narrow, perilously unsound flight of stairs, the fridge came with. and i shall remember i think forever how in navigating those stairs i felt as close to a poetically just death as i ever have. desperately, trying to get a purchase on its slick, hansa-yellow metal sides in the bathwater humidity of mid-july.

~

~

then there were the waves of varying fickleness to which we were subjected – the several months in the summer when we couldn’t keep greens of any sort in the fridge for more than 12 hours, lest the fridge see fit to freeze them solid, and the gradual compromise worked out whereby we acquiesced to the fridge’s insistence that the bottom shelf and right-most crisper drawer remain at a just above freezer temperature. i cannot help but see this arrangement as a socio-technical dispositif integral to the organization of our drinking habits, as in the interest of not wasting fridge space, said crisper drawer was rechristened the ‘Beer Drawer,’ beer being the only thing that would not freeze immediately.

and what kind of Beer Drawer is not kept well stocked?

a poor one, of course, but what kind of Beer Stock is not subjected to regular turnover?

a poorly-utilized one, and so far be it from us to leave ourselves open to accusations of hoarding! from each according to their ability, as the saying goes, to each according to their need! and we being able and needy men, the beer drawer was allowed to fulfil its purpose, cheerfully abetted and unmolested.

~

~

and now, five years along (it is note clear where it even came from in the first place, but it bears a distinctly 1970s aesthetic, so i can only presume it served many families before us), after many times rallying itself on the brink of death (last spring, for example, when it began to sound for a week as if it was with its fan chopping its insides into tattered ribbons, and we took to turning it off at night to offer we and it sufficient respite to sleep a night through) it appears that the fridge is loosing its grasp. it seemed for a while as if we were fighting a pitched battle – ratcheting up the internal temperature dial, fiddling with the exposed wires underneath, but every time i open it up and put my hand to its side the body grows warmer still. i can no longer pretend that i don’t need to acquire a new refrigerator, and with a quickness; that the mourning must be brief.

so i see it off, not pissed, but wistful.

 

~

 

~

MSL, upon my informing him of the fridge’s failing health:

“better make sure it’s good and dead, man. cause with the things that fridge has seen…”

. . .


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