Ben Whishaw reading “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe. I’ve never heard the strange, tender, spooky heart of it quite so clearly.
(My audio edit from the Poetica podcast, “Tides.”)
THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN LAST WEEK AT MY LOCAL KMART. YES, THAT IS A SEALED VHS TAPE OF JIMMY NEUTRON THE MOVIE, IN 2014, AT KMART, SITTING NEXT TO DVDS AND BLU-RAYS, PRICED AT $8.99
To give perspective, this film was released on VHS in 2002 and has been sitting unopened in a Kmart store for 12 years, longer than children now in middle school.
Plain proof that no one does inventory or gives a shit at any Kmart anywhere. Someone could probably live in Kmart and have no one notice.
In 2001, I did an experiment for school about the idea of living in a big-box store like this. I selected a busy 24hr Meijer, which is a midwest-only combination of Marts both K and Wal. I entered the store on a lovely friday afternoon, and didn’t leave the store until the following sunday evening. I read the entire magazine section, played all of the demos of the games in the electronics section, and beat minesweeper on my phone innumerable times. I ate at the pizza parlour they’d just installed, and slept on the display furniture. I wandered around the racks during the day, bored out of my skull. I considered buying frozen burritos and asking one of the employees if they had a breakroom where I could microwave them, but that felt like it wouldn’t truly answer the question if someone could live in a Meijer; I’d be using resources that weren’t public.
The only time I was ever asked if I needed any help was on sunday morning around 8am, and then it was only waking me up to ask me if I was drunk and had wandered in that night and fell asleep on their displays. I said, “no, I’m fine, I’m just trying this futon.” and was left alone.
The people that work there really don’t care.
u lived in a k-mart
This is the most magical thing I’ve ever had the privilege of reading
On October 29th, 2012, the night before my first GISHWHES, I made a promise to myself. A promise that I would get better. That I would find the strength to pull myself out of the pit of anxiety and depression that I had fallen into and I would find a place where I was proud of myself. Becoming a fan of Misha’s and allowing his paradigm on life to influence mine, participating in GISHWHES and finding a family in my girls- it’s saved me. Now, 2 years later, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and each day gets better and easier. Now it hasn’t been smooth sailing per say - It’s been an uphill fight the whole way, but on days when the company’s great, some days you don’t notice the climb at all.
But some days are still hard, and something I’ve always drawn hope from is this tweet. I know that it was originally meant as a joke, but something about it was so endearing to me, the words gave me strength on the harder days, thinking that there was someone out there who cared. At my autograph session at this most recent Vancon, I told Misha how instrumental he and this quote had been in giving me the courage to keep going, and asked if he would be willing to write it in his own handwriting, which he did immediately.
So here it is for all of you. If you need a reason tonight to be strong, to hold on- this is it. If you’re having a bad day and you just need to know that there is someone there- take this. I know it helped me, and I hope it can help you too.