Select field communications and strategies of integration no. 9: Sweet Jesus

Wine certificates bunk inside a plastic bin waiting to have their frames repurposed.

Alongside them, three of those boxes that wine shippers use, each in still repose for the day someone on either side of the Atlantic turns 30 or 50 or has a baby or an anniversary or for no reason at all.

A keyboard I bought on a whim rests vertically against the wall. It is wrapped in padded plastic and needs to go where all my deferred hobbies gather until I pass these last three exams. Middle-aged Josephine, so chic and assured in dark Jackie-Os has been flashing me the Shaka sign for four years. First, she did it from the red wall. Then the white wall. After that, another white wall then the sofa table. When I upgraded to a temperature controlled Liebherr, she stylized my jazz corner next to a print of Miles Davis’s hand all arranged on a welded cocktail tray I bought from a skinny Parisian shop tucked between a bric-a-brac and a bakery 20 minutes’ walk from home. Cocktail glasses and a floral patterned Bluetooth speaker set the petite scene. Striking pair Josephine and Miles. Eventually, it all became too much to dust.

Josephine lost her frame a year ago as did Miles. However, she retained her open-air privilege and was elevated to a space-saving wall shelf. There she leaned, frameless, next to a candle and a six-sided Ferris wheel frame with pics of my brother and his family of four. So sorry Josephine.

Finally spring cleaning brings dignity to the queen of cool! Discouraged by the sight of certifications lining the walls like wasted potential, I thanked them for their service in a volatile time then stacked them in a bin under the bed between bubble wrap and poster tubes. Symbolism on denial, I need the dry space. That means the bin goes down cellar and the keyboard takes its place.

Look up. There’s Josephine, unguarded. Hey! What about those paper fantasies in route to the cold, dark place? The chase is a drug. The achievement is a high. The aftermath is the prequel to the next bump of academic triumph. The frame on the wall is the addiction. This metaphor will not read well among my people.

I see you Josephine. You look good in pale veneer. I folded, rather than trimmed, your edges to make you fit. No one will know the difference. I’m sorry you waited so long, you unsung civil rights goddess and mother of the rainbow tribe. If you were alive, I would ship you this LBV port I am about to blind taste next to a Colheita and whatever else is on the recommended lineup. One day I will be wherever ‘there’ exists and we’ll move to a slightly bigger place. One with a patio. One that allows cats.