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39 • This spiral notebook with a dog on the cover from the 99-cent store • This free pen from Fancy Footwear where me and Naomi went to try on shoes • This Marlboro Red I am about to light and smoke • This see-through green plastic lighter from the 99-cent store • This pair of glasses on my face with smudges on the lenses I’ve been watching this show about stolen paintings on pbs while I wait for Naomi to get off work. We can’t afford cable so we get like three channels, and pbs is one of them, but only if I tweak the antenna just so, and even then, there’s all this snow on the screen, so I can hardly make out the picture. So I don’t really know what all these stolen paintings look like or why they’re so valuable, but the show got me thinking. I mean, those paintings still have to be in the world somewhere, right? It really bothers me that stuff gets lost, that paintings and other stuff and even people can be missing. So I got out this notebook where me and Naomi were supposed to write shopping lists but Naomi never did because she just kept them in her head. I figure we just need a list of everything in the world, with call numbers , like they used to have at the library back when they filed all the books in those puny wooden drawers. So while I have nothing to do this afternoon until Frank’s opens, I’m starting this project: a card catalogue for all the contents of the world. I know it’s hopelessly heroic and impossible, like finding the cure for cancer or going to Mars or making world peace happen. It’s something someone should give me a lot of money to do, but of course nobody will. • My 1990 dragon-green Geo Metro with the crushed-in rear bumper and the missing driver’s side mirror, and the stuff in it: YELIZAVETA P. RENFRO A CATALOGUE OF EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD colorado review 40 • Three smashed empty Marlboro Red hard packs (on the floor) • One Marlboro Red hard pack with four smokes in it (on the passenger seat) • The blue cashmere sweater I “borrowed” from Nina Van Velsor (on the back seat) • Four empty Red Bull cans (on the floor) • One three-quarter full Red Bull can (between my thighs) • The small Walgreens bag stuffed under the driver’s seat where Naomi won’t see it • The envelope (in the glove box) with the money from Nina Van Velsor still left this week: $14.67 —— It’s happy hour at Frank’s, and me and Naomi are drinking beers on an empty stomach. It’s cheaper to get buzzed that way. You don’t have to spend any money on food, and it doesn’t take as much beer. I feel pretty good after just two. Naomi is telling me about work the night before. She’s a waitress at this fake fifties diner called Susie Q’s where they all dress in poodle-dog skirts and play shoo-be-doo-be music on a real jukebox. The waitresses are required to have a bounce in their step like it’s still 1950. “So there I was marrying the ketchup—it was past closing time—and there was this one couple in a booth that just wouldn’t leave,” she says, lighting a smoke. She’s always saying amazing things like that. “Marrying the ketchup?” I interrupt. “Yeah, when you, like, consolidate the ketchup bottles at the end of the day? You pour ketchup from one into another to fill them up so they’ll all be full for the next day.” “Yuck. That stuff is thick,” I say. “It must take forever.” “Yeah, very tedious. So this couple? They just kept sitting there. But they weren’t talking or anything. Just sort of staring at each other. They paid their bill but still wouldn’t leave.” “Weird.” “I was standing there with the ketchup, watching them. And then suddenly the guy reached over and picked up the lady’s...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2325-730X
Print ISSN
1046-3348
Pages
pp. 39-59
Launched on MUSE
2017-07-05
Open Access
No
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