Which is the tool is the question never asked. For the coffee mug, the eyeglass case, the dozen indispensable items in the wire basket with the foldable handles, we are a conveyance to the top of the stairs. When all the forty thousand things we’ve accumulated need us to get someplace, how can we be trivial? We knew what we were doing, but we couldn’t stop. The keys need us to get to the car; the car needs us to cross the bridge. Forty-six tons of lumber, shingles and glass found a lift to the jobsite and convinced the contractors to pile them into the shape of our new house. Every morning, the city’s best ideas catch a ride in the paperguy’s car and have themselves tossed onto our lawn, but we know all we need to know already. Did the chicken invent the egg as a way of making more chicken, or the egg the chicken to make more eggs? Applied to us the question would mean, were we just a way to make the protein our kids will pass along? It makes our holidays seem a little desperate. The European conifers invented Christmas to move their pinecones to the dump. A piano eventually finds its way to a house where someone’s children learn to play and take it with them. And my keyboard has no fingers, only keys that can be strike—make that: backspace backspace backspace struck. So, what shall I type about you, my love? I helped her get where she was going? I dragged her down to my level? I know what you did for me. I once thought the meaning of life was the distance we travel together, but from here I know I was furniture that got itself hauled to the curb.

Copyright ©2006 David Hodges

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