Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Straw, Who Packs Light.

Straw, Who Packs Light.
by james bezerra

His manifesto advocating the minimalist lifestyle is sixteen thousand words long. In its current form. He plans to edit it down, but only ever seems to add to it.
“Look, I’m not a douche bag,” he finally ends up saying to the LBD girl at the bar.

“It just sounds kind of douche-y.” She sips slowly at her martini and looks at his card between her fingers. Simple black Courier on white:

j. straw

The email and number on the back.
“Mostly it’s about freeing your life from all of that stuff.”

“Like what?”

“Like cars … and shoes and TVs and all that other consumerist, status-symbol bullshit.”

“I have a car. And a TV. And I like my shoes.” She has a great mouth, he thinks.

“Sure,” Straw says then, realizing that her long smooth legs and glossy make-up magazine looks are a sort of excess he can’t endorse anyway. He sucks back the rest of his scotch. “Well, thanks for … letting me buy you a drink ... I guess.”
“Sure thing,” she raises her glass at his back as he leaves.

On the street he pulls his hood up against the cold. The hood zippered into his black jacket. He walks and types into the diary app on his phone: No point trying to convince anyone already living in the hemogency of consumerist society. Am not a prophet or a disciple. Proselytizing is not minimal in its strategy. Better to find a girl who already understands.

As a teenager there had been a girl called Viv. Her blonde brown hair already twisted into grimy dreads. She wore the most basic of Hanes cotton underwear. She cut t-shirts down into tank tops. He remembered the fullness of her body in the hallway of her mother’s house. He wondered where she was at now.

Straw had been able to find a little apartment with a window seat. It was a studio, which is what he wanted. The size of a shipping container with a door on one end and a window and window seat on the other. The window seat allowed him to get rid of his desk, his couch, and his kitchen table. He didn’t need any of that, he had the painted white wood of the window seat. He bought one cushion. He could use it on the window seat when he was reading his Kindle or he could sit on it on the floor when he used the window seat as a desk or as a table.

An email came in on his phone. The annual convention was coming up in Brooklyn. He’d hoped to have his manifesto read by then. It probably wasn’t going to happen. Despite that he books a plane ticket and starts looking for a hostel; Straw doesn’t need a whole hotel room to himself.

The decluttering of one’s physical life can translate into the decluttering of one’s mind. As humans we tend to work from the outside in in order to effect change. This can best be done by creating a safe and simple environment for the body to exist in. That peace and freedom will allow the mind and soul to blossom.

Straw rereads what he had just typed. He wonders if Viv would like it.

He thinks for a second about whether minimizing his life for the sake of writing a manifesto about minimizing is self-serving. He thinks about calling it a memoir instead of a manifesto. He shakes his head though, No, ‘manifesto’ is a much sexier word.

He has gotten rid of the box spring. He just has a mattress on the floor. He likes it. It’s clean and simple. He doesn’t know that the purpose of a box spring is to allow air to circulate. To him it just seemed like clutter.

Viv was more Punk Rock than she was Minimalist. Minimalism wasn’t really a thing yet back then. She had probably outgrown the Punk thing by now. Probably taken out the lip rings. She’d been onto something though. She didn’t have much. Her little bedroom in her mother’s place had barely been bigger than the bed she slept on. The bed had been noisey when it took his weight. The kissing had started in the hall. She was the kind of girl who kissed hard. She dragged him along the wall, never letting his mouth away from hers. Straw’s hands found her flesh easily through all of the cuts and rips in her sliced up tank top.

She didn’t smell good, he realized when he was that close to her. Her hair was knotted and thick. She smelled like sweat and cigarettes and sex. And he’d loved it.

Viv pulled her clothes away and he decided right then that no one needed clothes anyway. She was there, full and luscious and naked and she unzipped his pants and pulled them off. Pulled his shirt off. Fuck clothes, Viv said, growling a little.

It didn’t last long, once she pulled his naked body down on top of her naked body, but there was suddenly nothing in the world right then; just them, just their bodies. His body inside of hers. They were one body, moving together, moving against. That was all that there was in the whole universe. And that’s all that there needed to be anywhere.

Straw doesn’t have any pillows on his mattress. He just uses the cushion from the window seat.

He doesn’t have any plates. Instead he uses tortillas. He doesn’t eat anything that can’t be eaten off or in a tortilla.

It was time to head to the airport to head to the convention in Brooklyn.

He looked around his bare little white studio. He couldn’t think of anything in there that he needed. He grabbed his jacket off the doorknob and left.

That’s how light he packs.


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