Ch.234 Thirteen Pounds of Salt
This morning I was cleaning out the closet in our computer room, yet another place where Pat had placed mysterious objects, mysterious in the sense that they seemed to have no useful function. Pieces of rope; a handful of miniature clamps; five thick roles of plastic sheeting. I thought I had finished the job when I noticed one more box hidden in the corner of the closet. That box held 15 containers labelled “large spice jars.” Each was filled to the brim with some white powdery substance. I opened one container and tasted the substance. It was salt, plain table salt. Dried to brick hardness. I decided to carve out the salt to recycle the containers. Then I weighed the salt. 13 Pounds.
I have no idea why Pat “needed” 13 pounds of salt. Knowing Pat, she probably saw the salt, had a brilliant idea (“I could use salt to make ____”), bought the salt, bought the containers, packed the salt into the containers, placed them in the closet, and forgot about them within a couple days. Pat was better at creative inspiration than follow through, a lot better.
I was often critical of Pat when she did stuff like this. “You’re wasting money,” I’d tell her. “All this stuff is taking up space.” “Couldn’t you finish something just once?” Sometimes Pat would feel hurt. Other times she’d say I just didn’t understand her. Frequently she’d insist she would get around very soon to whatever project it was we were arguing about. Pat seldom apologized and she never promised not to do it again. Creative inspiration was just too central to Pat’s being. That’s who she was, and now I wish I had both accepted and appreciated that part of her more than I did. I wonder, each time I find another of Pat’s caches, if this is the last one. I hope not, because every time I discover a new one, I think of her, remembering Pat as the complex, unpredictable, creative, and complicated person I lived with for 57 years.