Sunday, September 25, 2011



I used to collect them. Somewhere in this apartment I have individually wrapped (in stamp-sized envelopes) STAMPS. Elvis and Warner Bros....and triangular shaped ones from the eighties, I think. I am OLD MAN IVY. Whatever. When I first got interested in the idea of stamps I was 13 or so.

We were living on Waco street and food stamps. I used to make grocery runs to Dillons on 13th with the hopes that my extreme crush, a high school guy named Patrick, would not be working. Of course, there was one time that he was working. Me. My food stamps. And Patrick. Imagine the shame. You can't. Just try.

I had a lot of goofy aspirations during this time. Of course I was going to be "found" by some famous humanitarian and I would be made famous, somehow. Academy awards abound...followed closely by Grammys and scandallllllll! It was going to be rich with drama. There was a moment, even, when I was absolutely sure that Steve Perry pulled up in my driveway on a Harley.

It. Happened.

Or at least I think it happened. I was, after all, thirteen. If you don't know this (if you are a parent, you should, and if you still claim you do not, SHAME on you): preteens are clinically insane. It is true. They are. And we should all feel terribly sad for and afraid of them. Incarceration! It is the only hope.

Yet. These people run free amongst us. As I once did. With my food stamps and weird dreams.

My personal dream was to one day see a stamp of Grace Jones. I don't know why. I can only imagine she was the most anti-Wichita thing that could ever exist, probably. Imagine 1985. Me and my groceries of shame. Writing in my journal of angst. Imagine! I spent hours obsessing over Stevie Nicks and stealing cigarette butts out of ashtrays when my mom wasn't looking. I spent hours imagining I was anywhere but there.

I really have to tip my hat to that girl. She would never have believed she would be living in New York City, working in publishing. That food stamp girl spent hours curled around her most precious things: scrapbooks, tapes, stolen scarves, dreams. It is possible--and it SHOULD BE--that the stamp she once imagines would come to light. How cool would that be? HOW COOL? Think about it!

A more likely happenstance is, of course, a chicken happenstance. This might make it to a stamp one day. And all hail the grand and opulent Chicken! Celebrate! There's still room enough in this vast world for a grand chicken stamp and something altogether different, magnificent, and magical.


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