Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Suitable for Framing

In the past year our little household has seen three diplomas earned:  one college, one high school, and my wife completed a two-year master's certification for administration.  I have been feeling like a slacker.  But yesterday I received my "official" letter from a magazine that had selected one of my poems as a best of 2011.  And the word was that this letter was suitable for framing . . . should I want to impress my friends.  (But I have no friends who would be impressed by me.)

I won't be framing this letter . . . I don't have anything framed!  Most of my important documents are stuffed into a filing cabinet somewhere and, should I need them, I will have to die in order for them to be discovered.  I'm not framing my letter . . . I'll just write another poem and hope to do better with my next effort.

If I were to frame important documents, I might opt for some unassuming ones. 

For example, I might choose to frame a recent Valentine's Day card . . . in which my wife outlined the various ways and reasons she loves me, and wants to love me, and desires me, and also thanked me for cleaning up the basement where the cat puked.  I didn't believe a word of it of course, but some poet at Hallmark did touch my heart with his sentiments and made me shed a tear.  I haven't been able to toss this card since February 14, although I have created several doodles on it and have scrawled a few phone numbers in the upper right hand corner above the words:  "I love you like a wild gazelle crossing mountain ranges in search of a decent mate."

I might also frame a Walmart receipt from a recent mailing envelope purchase. I use a lot of these envelopes and it would be nice to remind myself that I need to fill these mailers with quality work, stuff that will make editors cry, or sneeze, or at least pull a hammie.  A framed Walmart receipt might have this effect, especially as I age and feel my energies being reduced to the full force of a triple-A battery.

I might also frame my first published story (and probably still one of my best) that was published way back when in a now-defunct University of Southern Illinois literary magazine.  People would stop and ask, "What is this important-looking document stuffed inside this $1.99 frame?"  And I could touch my shoulder blades together and answer, "That, my fickle little friend, is my first published story.  I am very proud of it, and have been holding out hope for years that writing stories like this one would be a real turn of for my wife."

I could also include a photo of my wife in all of these frames, I suppose.  But that would require work.  And, although I hate to admit it, I don't even know how to remove the film from the camera.  That roll has been in there since 1978, and the last time I pulled out the film to look at it, most of the photos of Becky appeared to be ruined.

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