I’m on hold right now with OfficeMax, Simon & Garfunkel lilting by. Today has been the day of Simon & Garfunkel, whether while driving to Iowa on a spur of the moment road trip after visiting the hardware store or while waiting to find out if I can get a new camera. Or, you know, a camera at all. Imagine it, there you are, opening the box to a brand new camera. You remove the cords. The battery charger, the manual, the… Ripped piece of plastic?
Oh yeah, the ripped piece of plastic that was supposed to be holding the camera.
It would seem that, given my luck (or lack thereof), I purchased the display camera’s box, which means that my camera is sitting out for other people to touch and oogle over. Ew. So after a conversation with the manager of OfficeMax, who was actually quite understanding and kind about the situation, I have been guaranteed the actual camera and a new box since it was an accident on their part that the empty box was given to me to buy.
All fixed. Problem solved. But what have we learned? Check the contents of the box before you buy, not after. It’s just like how, when I got Chinese three weeks ago, I should have checked the vegetable fried rice before getting back to the dorm. Why? Because, even though the box was labelled with a V does not mean that it won’t be chicken fried rice. Luckily, that one was taken care of in time for dinner.
But I laughed when I heard the Simon and Garfunkel playing in the background while on hold. It’s what I had listened to on my mini-road trip to Iowa. Kirksville is rather tiny, only around 17,000 people, but it’s the beacon light to all other northern Missouri towns–the “Northern Star”. Once you pass Kville and head up north, you reach a whole lot of nothing aside from horse-drawn carriages and towns that boast their population of 437.
I passed at least eight Mennanites in their carriages, making me smile every time. Small town. Small town. Small town. Gas station and closed diner and Welcome sign. Deer running up hills and into valleys and across highways. A brilliant, pink and orange sunset blinding me over the hills that crept out from nowhere. It was a place that looked more pleasant in its death than it would have in its full-bloom or spring or summer. You could see so far in the crisp air, see the snow still sticking to the shaded grass and the ice patches on the ponds. A simply beautiful drive.
And I listened to Simon and Garfunkel’s greatest hits, bobbing my head to Mrs. Robinson and humming to myself as I stopped for gas in an ugly little town inside of Iowa (I had missed the Welcome sign to Iowa, leaving me driving an extra twenty miles until I came upon the first town that was larger than an outpost). It was the type of trip that made me really, really yearn for my camera, and I was kicking myself for not having opened it sooner. Which is probably why I immediately opened it upon returning home to Kirksville and starting this whole circle of Simon and Garfunkel.
“Hello Darkness my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again.”
–Sound of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel