I wandered through the racks of clothes and furniture in the vintage store. “Vintage.” These old things, the urge to nostalgia, a search for permanence, the trappings of ancient modernity heating coils and dun brown faux wood veneer, peeled plastic in shades of rust and goldenrod, robin’s egg crockery: artifacts of a more modern age, we are stepping through the cracks into a vision of a better tomorrow. Only it’s today. And nothing really changes.
At the grocery, I wander the aisles and see the labels on brand new processed delights, filled with high fructose corn syrup, fillers, and preservatives, labeled in contemporary colors, using bold fonts, for bold people, who eat and choose decisively. Artifacts of the consumer age. I am stepping through a looking glass. I don’t know what to make of it. I can’t read the labels.
A pile of phones, a whole box of decommissioned communication hardware: flip phones, Blackberries, little bricks by Nokia with tiny displays, and early camera phones. They all worked last testing. My love’s son rifled through them, picked one up, and powered it on. “How do you use it? It doesn’t have a touch screen.”
It seems that when we’re not trying to reinvent another age, we’re busy forgetting how much we consumed to get this.