Tried to pull a Seinfeld on Wayfair today—y’know, when you return something out of spite. They wouldn’t take my old bed linens, so I did this instead:
That is to say…all right. So, Wayfair’s a furniture store and a magnet for my demographic, middle-class ciphers decorating our homes. They sell duvets and bird feeders and cute little end tables, all very charming. My counterpane’s from there, and my couch blankets, and my soap dish.
Recently, they’ve attracted a new sort of customer: concentration camps. Yeah. They’re pitching cheap furniture to Auschwitz. Arbeit macht fuck you in the ear.
Wayfair’s expressed their intent to keep doing it, so I expressed my desire for my money back. They said no, so I added up everything I’d bought from them, donated the same amount to RAICES* in their name, and put their customer service e-mail in the notification field so they’d see the money I wouldn’t be spending with them.
Sadly, it was only a few hundred dollars. I can’t imagine they’ll be weeping into their…what do smug bastards drink? Cognac? Starbucks? Rye? Still, it was satisfying, at least for a moment.
Been a while since I’ve trolled anyone.
I was going to write about something else today, this shower hose I had when I first moved to Vancouver. It was a dreadful thing, the bane of my existence. My tub, see, it didn’t have a shower, so I’d clip this thing to the tap and hold it above my head, and get a spray effect. Only, my bath was so old the tap didn’t fit, and I had to hold the hose on with one hand and shower with the other, and do this…this…soapy-soap elbow dance with my knees and a loofah. I went to Wayfair just yesterday to see if they still sold them, so I could get a picture of one to illustrate what I meant, and I found out about the concentration camp beds. Not that they’re advertising it, I mean, but you Google one thing, you get everything else. I’d planned on buying a bird bath, as I was Wayfairing anyway, but no. Not from there.
Human beings in cages, though. That’s disgusting. I saw a picture of them today, a mother with her child strapped to her chest, and she was looking through the fence, and if not for the chicken wire, she could’ve been anyone, anywhere. How do folks look at that and not see themselves looking back?
Thing is, with torture, it never quite stops. You walk away, maybe, you get on with your life. You look in the mirror and tell yourself the worst of it’s behind you, but you’re wrong. The crisis is behind you. The terror’s still growing. It’s on your back like a snail’s shell. You can’t take it off. You get all…weird health problems that defy diagnosis, and maybe something’s wrong with you, or maybe it’s your fear.
You comfort yourself how you can. You lash out and feel badly, then you do it again. You don’t talk to folks for ages, and you say you were busy. You say you forgot. But really, you were tired of all the fiction, all the…work? I’m keeping busy. Think I’ll go to the seashore, or maybe Vienna. Oh, did you read that book I sent?—you know, pretending you’re all there.
That kind of imprisonment, these concentration camps, you can’t pretend it’s not torture. There’s what you think of as torture, waterboarding, pliers, a steel pipe to the soles of the feet, then there’s the awful, crushing loneliness of being away from your family with no end date in sight, no home to go back to or future to look forward to.
Even regular loneliness hurts, in your chest. Like, that squeezing sensation when you think about home. Can’t imagine…Jesus, man. Months on end of that misery.
This is unpleasant. I’m being unpleasant. Let me quote The Wind in the Willows, a paragraph from my favourite chapter:
And you, you will come too, young brother; for the days pass, and never return, and the South still waits for you. Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! ‘Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new! Then some day, some day long hence, jog home here if you will, when the cup has been drained and the play has been played, and sit down by your quiet river with a store of goodly memories for company. You can easily overtake me on the road, for you are young, and I am ageing and go softly. I will linger, and look back; and at last I will surely see you coming, eager and light-hearted, with all the South in your face!The Wind in the Willows – “Wayfarers All”
Happier times, yes?
(Yes. Oh, please.)
* A charity involved with legal assistance for immigrants and refugees – https://www.raicestexas.org/