“Explore the room you’re in as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Pretend you know nothing. What do you see? Who is the person who lives there?”
Well, doggoneit! I had planned to throw my two cents into the mix re guns, violence, videogames and now I’m distracted. Another rabbit hole. “Whoa! That is one good looking rabbit!” And, Claire the Chaser is off. Dyssa is disgruntled. “It was supposed to be my day.” Sorry, kiddo.
First off, let us all agree this is profiling. You do get that, right?
The key turns in the lock and I push the door open, some long tube-like thing gets pushed as well. Ah, that’s because the door doesn’t sit well, you have to shut it by leaning against it and turning the deadbolt. Carefully replace the long stuffed thing to delay the cold air coming in. Small entry way with a half wall. There’s a coat hook that has hand-knitted or crocheted scarves of brilliant colors; a long black trench coat with a loose hood, size 4, impractical in the wind. A red dog leash and a red vinyl coat with a flannel inside for the dog. Smart, snazzy even. A vacuum cleaner, all cords neatly coiled – an organizer? A black parka that hits mid-thigh, with a drawstring hood, size 4, much better for rain and wind and snow, but not as elegant. In the pockets – left side has keys, an inhaler, inexpensive knit gloves. Right side has one of those plastic id wallets with about six clear plastic envelopes holding driver’s license, PetSmart card, Rx for somebody named Dyssa, obviously overweight as it is for Royal Canon Calorie Counter, a library card, voter id registration – Republican – that’s a big clue right there; Social Security Card, the original. Who carries their Social Security Card, and who still has their original? Well, she can certainly hold onto things. Two pairs of shoes, and a large plastic bag containing a sleeping bag, a tarp, an item labelled “Potato Planter” with a picture of 11 potatoes growing in soil out of a bag. “Enjoy Delicious Home Grown Potatoes.” What? The last item in the bag is 550 Paracord, and a receipt dating back to September. She never unpacked it and put the stuff away. A camper?
I glance at the half-wall, which is cluttered with a hodgepodge of stuff – a package filled with bumpy things never opened; a cloth that soaks up stuff that was advertised on TV (weakness for a good sales pitch? I wonder if it works?), books stacked willy-nilly, some with library stickers tucked into them – Dennis Praeger’s “Still the Best Hope,” James Wesley, Rawles “Patriots – A novel of survival in the coming collapse.” Oh, she’s one of them… The world is going to hell in a hand basket, better be prepared. A well-used corrugated cat scratcher with twine, a romance novel, another book, “The Book Thief,” a receipt from Jiffy Lube, “Decision Points” by George W. Bush – okay, definitely one of them. Far Right probably… that might be a bit hasty – no, there’s the survival book to account for. A box containing a very old “Xtreme Design Motherboard.” Too paranoid to throw it out? Cds – wide taste; ah, a box of PMC Bronze ammunition, 50 centerfire pistol cartridges for a 9mm luger. 20 left in the box. No gun in sight. A bookmark, gift certificate boxes with the cards still in the boxes, a traveling coffee mug, empty.
On the other side of the half wall, in what was designed to be the dining room area is an office of sorts – a serious one, no doubt, but curious even so. Two drawer filing cabinet, top drawer open – filled with files, CPU on top of the file cabinet, cheek and jowl with a Scandinavian long chopping block table that holds the flat screen monitor and printer, speakers, envelopes, Spanish and French language learning disks, a small hall table holds the keyboard and mouse. A large comfortable swivel chair. To the left, boxes filled with neatly typed contents, taxes, school books, emergency management, national security, terrorism, studies of propaganda, big stuffed redwells stacked one atop the other ready to fall down. Looks like that Wizard’s office from Harry Potter. A serious set of headphones atop last year’s remains of a container of Christmas cookies. Another stack of books, (laughter):. science fiction, politics, Narnia, Karl Rove, 7 Highly Effective People, Ayoub’s “In the Greatest Extreme,” Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook, Dick Francis, Moment of Truth in Iraq by Michael Yon. On the right of the chair, another coffee table closing in the area and stacked with more books and printouts, cds, “Jurassic Park III,” “Catholicism” 5 disks, two books by Kate Wilhelm, one by Ayn Rand, one by James Rollins, The Holy Bible, another survival book, two by Daniel Silva, one very large book, “The Ulimtate Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things.” A bag of runes atop The Book of Runes, a book about interpreting dreams, 6 Reasons Why You’ll get the Job, Frederick Forsyth, Donald Rumsfeld, Maeve Binchy, a portable gun safe (empty), a bulletin from the local Church, a meditation tape (music only), a family album of photos and news articles, and Michael Crighton’s “Micro.” A huge cardboard box stowed under the table with a stack of copies of her thesis on propaganda as used in the Iraq War by both sides. And, utterly enclosing the desk, chair, tables are eight foot tall bookshelves filled to overflowing with books arranged by subject and then by author. Science Fiction, Classics, history, politics, business, metaphysics, suspense, westerns, cookbooks, art, more school books. Quite literally, I’m looking at at least 2500 books with a fine patina of dust on the shelves. Books flowing off of chairs and onto the floor, stationery supplies, and my gaze slowly moves around to the living area.