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Rated: ASR · Draft · Biographical · #2274657
Paperwork always tells a story
The pile of papers on the desk and in the left-hand drawer having reached a considerable height, I’ve decided to sort, file and toss.

The postcards from the encounter with the Redwood Highway are still here, as I’d forgotten how to fill them out. Which side does the address go on? And how much postage to affix? “Giant pillars of Redwoods reach toward the sky” states one of the cards.

There’s a 4 x 6” notepad eight blank pages long from the Irvine Marriott, reminding me to “Leave a trail of genius” even while I’m carting off all the pens, shampoo and conditioner bottles and this pad, the only thing I’m leaving behind being a lot of soggy towels and a messed up bed.

There’re the miscellaneous and profuse guides to my low-budget cell phone- the one I used so much I burned through two $75 batches in less than two weeks.

There’s the card Carol returned to me with the “I love you, cutie” message that had accompanied some Valentine’s Day roses I sent her a week early, but which she sent back with a bunch of brownies, her scribbled rejoinder: “Same to you, Cutie.”

A couple Sacrament meeting programs from the Ojai 1st Ward, though there’s now only one ward in the building. The two wards consolidated recently due to the effects of a downward-spiraling economy.

A new checkbook bearing this house’s address, a grim reminder to me yesterday of why I can’t move just yet. I need to get at least a little of my money’s worth from these fox Street-addressed checks, now that my drivers license, bank account, and mailing address are all tied to this Ojai street.

There’s the plastic packet housing a wiping cloth for my new prescription glasses- the ones I only had for a few minutes before noticing deep scratches in the right-side lens. I returned them a few hours later, not caring if I received them back again. The carrying case they gave me was used, covered with dents and scratches inflicted by the previous owner. I think I’ll send the Users Instructions card to the folks that make the lenses: “Avoid laying glasses face down,” and “Avoid using abrasive substances on or around the lenses”, they say.

Pages from the original draft of my trip south are scattered here and there, along with two postcards from the Harbor View Inn motel I stayed at during my initial trip to Santa Barbara for interviews.

A pamphlet from the conveniently close Goleta DMV reminds me that they’ll be closed next Monday. Now, if I can just avoid being ticketed by the cops for the next seven days…

A Staples receipt for the $59.99 glass-topped computer table I got for my laptop.

A K-Mart receipt for the “you-get-what-you-pay-for” $14.99” speakers I hooked up once to my laptop in the hopes of enhancing my music listening experience, then disconnecting them and returning to my headphones.

A receipt from the Ojai library the day I was deemed worthy (and traceable) to receive a library card. Items checked out:

         • Harvey: A great movie! Watching it again after all these years was like seeing it for the first time.
         • Bruckner Symphony #1: His first and probably most boring. I didn’t listen to much of it.
         • My Fair Lady (Soundtrack): I gave it a go, trying to maintain an open mind, but the misogyny, stuffy atmosphere and Bohemian quality of the musical left a bad taste in my mouth, now as in the past. It sounds as if it was written by gay men, for gay men. No thanks!
         • Bizet’s L’Arlesienne & Carmen (Suites): Beautiful and timeless, especially the Carmen selections. Forget about the lurid and tragic nature of the opera and just savor the music. A work of inspired genius (How’s that for redundancy?)
         • The Bandwagon: Enjoyable in spots, though Oscar Levant did nothing but drag down the mood in every scene of which he was a part. Sorry, Oscar, but some folks just can’t act. Never did get to see the second half of the film, as the DVD player kept freezing up. Arrgghh!

A “SHHH…Much needed sleep in progress. Please come back later. Thanks” door hanger from the Holiday Inn Express I stayed at near Eureka. “Do not disturb” would have been much easier to understand.

The California driver’s exam, which I barely passed, missing five questions, where the limit is six wrong.

Two copies of my hotel reservations for the Irvine Marriott, one of which had my first name spelled wrong, the other the corrected version, but neither confirmation valid the evening I showed up to check in.

A tithing receipt for the $780 I owed the Lord yesterday when I turned the check over to one of the bishopric counselors. I still owe for my second paycheck, but at least the first one and the $5,000 relocation bonus are covered.

The key to a friend's deceased mother’s condo in San Francisco.

A ticket stub for the violent but somewhat uplifting movie “The Book of Eli.” They didn’t get it right- again. At the end of the film the only remaining copy of the Bible in a post-apocalyptic world is placed next to the Quran and other tomes, with nary a Book of Mormon in sight. I should be used to the slights by now, but with the LDS Church as well known as it is these days, this oversight smacks of either ignorance or bigotry, two things that are never mutually exclusive because they feed off of each other.

The $50.00 gift card given to me by our wonderful neighbors in Portland.

A towing receipt for the Jeep for $80.00 for a half-mile trip. At least the driver gave me a ride from the Union 76 to the car rental place. Of course, I tipped him.

A prepaid calling card for 150 minutes that I don’t know how to use, since I know have a cell phone.

An index card listing Christ’s post-death appearances in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The B of M wins hands-down with 490 verses to the Bible’s 159 (with a lot of repetition in the latter).

Two receipts from the Post Office near work, one of which shows me getting nicked several dollars for a letter to Chelsea in Albania because the envelope wouldn’t quite fit through their letter-thickness gauge.

Seven receipts for my trips to Vons for milk, Chips Ahoy cookies, Carnation Instant Breakfast, English muffins, macaroni and cheese (frozen and from the deli as well), shampoo, first aid kit, peanut butter, strawberry jam, bread, a sack of Cheerios (which marauding ants later destroyed), a large container of sliced and cooked ham (that was so foul tasting I threw it out after only one sandwich), frozen bean and cheese burritos (awful and still sitting in the freezer), jo-jo potato wedges, chicken strips, more half-gallons of milk, short envelopes (good for nothing but short letters), Kraft Singles (cheese slices), thin-sliced smoked ham (much better), three cans of tuna (still unopened), Quaker Instant oatmeal, tub of Land’O’Lakes margarine, and pizza sticks.

Receipts (one each) for McDonalds, Dairy Queen, Jack In The Box, Wendy’s, Burger King, Subway, Gina’s Pizza, Jersey Mikes (sandwiches), a bunch of gas receipts, another for Jersey Mikes, and several for Borders (for puzzle books).

A True Value hardware receipt for a king-sized black felt pen which I used to cover up white paint spots on a pair of black dress shoes I needed to wear to work.

Assorted sticky notes carried here from Portland that chronicled my job searches during October and January (in case the Unemployment Office calls to verify my job searches).
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