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thomas' blog
I Consign You to West Steiner Ranch

"The tomatoes in my garden are not coming out," he continued. "Maybe because I only have the weekend to work the garden, or maybe because the garden keeps getting mowed over by the goddamn Hispanics who tend to the grounds of the apartment complex Iíve been living in since the state forced me to sell my house in Naperville and Barbara took the kids to Phoenix to live with Pilot Bob. Do I have an actual garden? The answer to that is a big fat no, because the goddamn woman in the property office wonít listen to reason. She keeps insisting that this is a rental property, not your backyard. Flower borders, thatís all we want, she says. So the goddamn Hispanics go out and tend the marigolds along the borders. But do you understand, Iím talking about fat, ripe, juicy, delicious red tomatoes that I want to grow with my own two hands through the bountiful mystery and generosity of nature! That dream ended when Barb started sleeping with Pilot Bob and we gave up Naperville. Anyway, would I like a garden? YES. Matter of fact I would like a farm. But at the present moment Iím afraid all I have is apartment 4H at Bell Harbor Manor, which is neither a harbor nor a manor and contains NOT ONE SINGLE BELL. Which one of you wit-wizards came up with the name íBell Harbor Manorí? May your clever tongues be ripped from their cushy red linings and left to dry on pikes under the native sun of a cannibal land. Ha! I will be called into the office for that one but Iím leaving it, because what Iím trying to get at here is that IíM NOT SURE ANY OF US KNOWS just how far we have removed ourselves not only from nature but from the natural conditions of life that have prevailed for centuries and have forced men to the extreme limits of their physical capacity in order simply to feed, clothe and otherwise provide for their families, sending them every night to a sweet, exhausted, restorative, unstirred, deserved sleep such as we will never know again. Now thereís Phoenix, and airplanes to get you there, and Pilot Bob who can take care of EVERYTHING, though he probably doesnít even know how to mow his own lawn. But donít forget, Bob, and all you Bobs out there, íManual labor is the study of the external world.í I believe that to be true. Now, the question youíre all probably asking yourselves is, what is he doing then, Tom Mota? Why is Tom wasting his days in a carpeted office trying to hide the coffee stain on his khakis? How is he any better than Pilot Bob? Unfortunately, I donít think I am any better. Iím not studying the external world. What Iím doing is trying to generate a buck for a client so as to generate a quarter for us so that I can generate a nickel for me and have a penny left over after Barbara gets what the court demands. For that reason I love my job and never want to lose it, so I hope no one reading this finds me smug or ungrateful. Iím only trying to suggest that as we find ourselves in this particularly unfortunate, misconstrued, ungodly juncture of civilization, letís not lose sight of the nobler manifestations of man and of the greater half of his character, which consists not of taglines and bottom lines but of love, heroism, reciprocity, ecstasy, kindness and truth. What a bloated bunch of horseshit, you will say. And good for you. I welcome you to shoot me up close in the head."

Joshua Ferris
Then We Came To The End