99-Cent Store Preacher

When I’m sad in Los Angeles, I go to the 99-cent store
because you can’t be sad in the 99 cent store
because they have things like plastic flamingos,
and Jesus candles,
and the shelf by the registers is a Quote “perfect post modern representation of the lifecycle of a relationship.”

Lipsticks next to
Chocolates then comes
Pregnancy tests
Denture cleaner and
Sympathy cards.

I run into my friend Elaine who’s sipping from this enormous red straw that is sticking out of her pocket book. I asked her once what she was drinking and she said, “Dar’lin, life’s way too long to go through it blind sober” Which I tend to agree with.

I see her digging in a big cardboard container. 

"I need envelopes for my project I'm sort’en through 75 years of photographs, and I’ll tell you what, I’ve not done anything this difficult in my entire life."

"I imagine it’s hard. Must bring up lots of memories.”

"I can handle memories. I can’t handle the 'who the fuck is this?' (and she pulls a black and white photo from her bag.) Who is that good looking man. I don’t know. I'm standing next to him, my cheek is pressed to his with my arm around his waist, and I have no idea who he is. And there are more like him, women, men, kids.. They meant something to be after all or I wouldn't have posed for the picture because don’t pose for pictures with people unless I like ‘em. Now I just stare at them and don’t know who the fuck they are.”

We keep digging but the envelopes are all small.

"I need big enveopes, these won’t work. They need to be able to hold a whole year because. I'm a good mother. I have to do this, or my kids won’t know.

 "I gonna preach to ya now. Because I'm preaching to everybody I meet. Always write on the back of a photograph who is in it, where it was taken, and when.”

 “No one develops photos anymore.” I tell her, “We post ‘em to Facebookand Instagram, and all over the web We post and tag and pin and explain our lives away as it happens and it’s possible we do it so we don’t have to ever look back. Of course I’m not sure Facebook will be around when I hit old lady status.  I think our whole life will still be there

"OH," she said turning way from me, pushing past the bookrack and the potting soil. "I guess you won’t be an old woman on a goose chase to find envelopes, then!"