It ain’t easy being the closet and recycling

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country 7-08

So here am I, celebrating an empty nest when I suddenly get all ambitious and clean out my closet from all the clothes on my floor. I wish I could describe to you, the reader, of the sheer magnitude of stuff I hauled out of there, stuff I forgot I had and how the closet space, according to the laws of physics, could not possibly have held all that in it.

Then I found a curious plastic toilet paper bag. It had one roll of paper left in it, and a can of tuna. Huh? Then I remembered, well, sort of. I must have been in survival mode when I stashed that from my son who makes termites look like light eaters. I laughed and told my Mom what I found, and she asked me if the tuna was for the cats? Heck sez I! It was for me and the T.P. was for afterwards, after I ate the tuna.

Then I told my friend Melissa, who also laughed up a storm, she asked me if I had a fork and can opener in there too? Well, now I will. Everyone I know has “poor” stories, and we all try to outdo each other with how pitiful we once happened to be. Mine is that my son’s father and I lived in a small, airless studio apartment with no air conditioning and if his friend had not brought over a paper sack of potatoes he got from a free food giveaway, we would not have eaten for a week.

At the time I was not a very good cook but I learned hunger also inspired my culinary creativity. I mashed, I fried and I baked. We scrounged around one day and came up with enough to splurge on some sour cream, probably about 69 cents at the time. Yum! What a feast. And then when I get to feeling sorry for myself I recall just who I am; a descendant of survivors of a holocaust.

There is nothing funny about starvation, disease or what the United States government did to eradicate we Native people, no never.

What is good that they did survive and passed those good genes to us, ergo the commodity cans under the bed and recycling of everything we have. Indians are the original “green” inhabitants of this country. My Gramma said that her family never threw anything away, it just simply served another purpose. About ten years ago now, I contributed to a piece in The Circle Newspaper called “Ten little Indian Myths.” I wrote about recycling, all Indian women know how to make frybread and how all Indians are the same. (I mention it now because it was my debut as a writer and I don’t have a copy of that issue, I think it was August or September 1998? Hook me up if you can.)

One of my favorite stories about growing up is that our couch was missing one front leg, and my Mom “fixed” it by putting a can of Campbell’s tomato soup in place of it. In all the years we had that sofa she would periodically replace it with a fresh soup can, always tomato and always Campbell’s.

In other news the new Risky Raccoon Kasino and Resort has opened for business. There is a new hotel, a very nice one, and they are in the process of renovating and redecorating the old one. The hotel was selling off the old furniture for cheap, like $5 for a microwave and stand, $10 for a desk, which is what I wanted, and other sundry items like headboards and nightstands. Well, Rezberrians’ being very enterprising and thrifty, promptly bought all the stuff up.

One person I know bought 4 microwaves, she’s not quite sure what for, but now she wishes she had bought more. Maybe for when someone is taking too long on the first microwave? Then another Rezberrian bought a bunch of mini-fridges to sell later at a profit! Talk about recycling. I see now that the homes of Rezberrians will all have the same décor; original hotel circa 1996. Everyone will feel right at home, literally!

So if you find someone sleeping on your sofa and they ask you what you are doing in their house, well, it will soon become a common mistake. At least then no one can accuse other Rezberrian’s of being tacky and having no taste because we will all have the same furnishings!

This year I am back at the Risky Raccoon Golf Course in the food and beverage department. I told these two younger co-workers that I had been going through some of my old school stuff and found some writings from when I was little, and that what I really really wanted to be was a beverage cart server! They looked at me all amazed and I lost it, I said yes, I have done everything I set out to do, I am at the pinnacle of my success, all the rest will be downhill.

At least I accomplished something, yanno? I missed last month due to lack of a functional computer, I sure hope this makes it in this month. The Rezberry Enrollee Appreciation days are coming up and I am happily anticipating the goings-on! Missed yooz, see you next month?